Virus Fighting, Vitamin C and Antioxidant Loaded, Zingy Blackcurrant Smoothie Bowl

Blackcurrants are a powerhouse of Vitamin C, polyphenols and antioxidants. Per 100g of fruit, blackcurrants have almost 4x the amount of Vitamin C than an orange and 30x the Vitamin C content of an apple!  Did you also know that Blackcurrant has the 29th highest antioxidant content (and even higher for polyphenols ref: this paper) per 100g of any wholefood on the planet! (Cloves are the highest).

We’ve all been worryingly reading about the Coronavirus. I’ve been reading that one of the complementary treatments in addition to pharmaceutical and oxygen therapy has been large doses of Vitamin C. (Ref: New York Post Article) 

Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) especially in its natural form, is necessary for the growth, development, and repair of all body tissues. It’s involved in many body functions, including the formation of collagen, absorption of iron, the immune system, wound healing, and the maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth. (Ref: NHS)

I figured if there was any time to ensure a daily boost of natural vitamin C and antioxidants it was probably now. Quite frankly anything to lessen the chance of being stricken severely with COVID-19 is at the very least a help psychologically in addition to all the physical safety measures individual citizens should be taking. In all likelihood, ramping up the vitamin C in its natural form has to be a good thing…

On a pure and utter whim, and about 30 seconds of thinking time later, I created a delicious smoothie bowl containing over 200mg of vitamin C, bursting with antioxidants and polyphenols and an absolute joy to devour on a bright sunny day. I topped the smoothie with shavings of toasted coconut and a sprinkling of an omega seed mix and put my coconut bowls to good use (I knew the perfect day would come).

Enjoy!

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home,

C xxxx

Ingredients

  • 100g frozen blackcurrants
  • 100g of fresh ripe banana
  • 100 ml of fruit juice orange/mango juice/pineapple juice (whatever is your favourite- I used orange juice)
  • Toasted coconut and omega seed mix to top (you could use granola or a topping of your choice but the toasted coconut is amazing! Hell why not swirl in some vanilla yogurt too!)

Method

  1. Put the 100g of frozen berries and chopped banana and 100mls of fruit juice into your blender.
  2. Pulse until the fruit is mixed and then for longer until smooth.
  3. Serve immediately into a bowl and top with whatever you like.

Cost to make per serving: Around 50 to 60p (not including toppings)


I purchased my Coconut Bowls here (affiliate link with Amazon)

WW1 Ration Scones – Recipe No. 186

I can tell you now, follow this recipe EXACTLY, and you will want to do nothing but feed these scones to ALL your floods of visitors once the UK lockdown has been abolished!

I used the basic WW1 Ration Scone recipe from 1918,  adding wild garlic leaves and 1 oz of hard grated cheese to create a delightfully aromatic and delicious savoury scone.

Behind my old house up North, there was a small wooded area that grew an abundance of wild garlic which I regularly used in salads or wilted in stews. So you can imagine how delighted I was when my Riverford Organic Vegetable Box arrived this week with a bag of wild garlic leaves perched on the top, waiting for me to scream in delight! (I actually squeaked). I have yet to find a source of free wild garlic down South where I now live so this really was a treat to receive this.

I found the original WW1 Ration Scone recipe from 1918 in an article in ‘People’s Friend Magazine’ and I immediately thought I bet that would taste AMAZING with a little chopped wild garlic leaf and some of the hard vegetarian cheese (Parmesan type) I had waiting to be used up. Seemed silly not to try.

I adapted the recipe slightly as I fancied savoury not sweet, you MUST give my version a try!

Hope you enjoy, and your floods of visitors too!

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

PS: On your daily walk you may be able to source wild garlic for free. It’s typically found in woodland, quite near the edges and abundant in April/May. Watch this video HERE

Wild Garlic & Cheese Scones (based on WW1 Ration Scones from 1918 above)

  • 5 oz of white self-raising flour
  • 2 oz of butter or hard margarine
  • 1 egg and a little milk
  • 1 oz grated hard cheese (cheddar would be fine if you have no Parmesan)
  • Several wild garlic leaves chopped very finely
  • Large pinch of salt.

Method

  1. Sift flour and large pinch of salt into a bowl
  2. Dot in the butter and then rub into the flour
  3. Add the grated cheese
  4. Add the chopped wild garlic leaves
  5. Add the eggs and milk mixture leaving a spoonful to brush tops of scones before baking
  6. Form a dough that is not too sticky and can be handled.
  7. On a floured surface roll out to about 1/2 inch thick and use cutter or end of glass to create 6 scones (you may get more if you are lucky)
  8. Place on baking tray, brush with egg mixture and sprinkle a little more salt on the top of each scone
  9. Place in pre-heated (200 C) oven for about 20 minutes until a nice mid golden colour.
  10. Remove and place on wire rack.
  11. Enjoy while still slightly warm with butter. Would also be lovely served in a bowl with stew!

Makes 6 or 7

 


 

Piccalilli – Recipe No. 185

Would you believe me if I told you I’ve never tasted Piccalilli before? I truly believe, at 54 years young I am a ‘Piccalilli Virgin’ so it was with great excitement I prepared these jars of pickle, knowing that after waiting for half-a-century, I was going to experience for the very first time a mainstay of the ‘Women’s Institute’ our Grandmother’s larders and the quintessential food item for sale at English Summer Fete’s. I wasn’t disappointed…

Piccalilli is an 18th century “British” Indian style pickle that always contains cauliflower mixed with other available garden vegetables such as onion, green beans. carrots, marrow/courgette mixed with a thickened vinegar/mustard sauce spiced and coloured with Turmeric. It’s a wonderful accompaniment to bread, cheese, fresh salad vegetables, pies, cold cut meats and I will surely enjoy this as a regular dollop on my plate!

C xxx

Piccalilli Ingredients

  • 2 kg of fresh mixed vegetables (Cauliflower + carrot, cucumber/gherkin, marrow/courgettes, green beans, onions, celery)
  • 200g of sugar
  • 150g of salt (overnight prep)
  • 30g plain flour or cornflour
  • 20g ground ginger
  • 20g mustard powder
  • 2-4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
  • 1 litre of white vinegar (although I’m sure malt would be fine too)

You will also need 9 or 10 1lb preserve jars with lids which need to be sterilised. I wash them and rinse, place opened jars on a tray in oven at 160C for about 20 minutes so piping hot. The lids are placed in very hot water (previously boiled) in a bowl.

Method

  1. Wash, peel where needed and dice all veg into small pieces.
  2. Put veg into a large bowl and mix well with the 150g of salt making sure to finally sprinkle some over the top before placing the bowl in the fridge overnight. The salt draws out the water from within the vegetables.
  3. When ready to start making the Piccalilli, wash the veg several times in cold water to remove as much salt as possible and drain thoroughly.
  4. Add the vinegar and the sugar to a large saucepan and heat until the sugar dissolves, add the prepared vegetables.
  5. Stir veg, vinegar and sugar well, add in ginger, mustard and mustard seeds, bring to boil and simmer for several minutes until the veg is still slightly crunchy. Stir when needed.
  6. While the veg is cooking mix the flour and turmeric together with a little vinegar to make a smooth, runny paste.
  7. Add the mixture, while continuously stirring, to the veg in the pan and continue to stir until the mixture thickens.
  8. After a few further minutes of cooking remove from heat.
  9. Ladle mixture into hot jars and screw on hot lids immediately. Leave 1/2 to 1-inch headroom under the lid.
  10. Leave jars to cool overnight.
  11. Label the next day.

The Piccalilli is best left for 2-4 weeks to mature but I ate some the next day and thoroughly enjoyed it!

 


People have asked me where I have been getting my cute jars and labels. The links are below:

JARS: 24 jam/chutney jars with gingham printed lids

>>CLICK HERE<<

LABELS: Re-usable and removable labels for jars and containers with chalk pen.

>>CLICK HERE<<

CANNING FUNNELS: 2 sizes, stainless steel for all jam/chutney/relish making.

>>CLICK HERE<<

Pandemic Pantry: FREE cookbook launching in 7 days

Dear all,

I’ve completed the book cover and am busy doing a simple community cookbook style layout inside inspired by my time in the rural Canadian community from 2004-2013.

Simple, frugal recipes have been coming in from all over the world for this global community project during these challenging times.

This FREE online cookbook launches on SUNDAY 12 APRIL. THANK YOU for all the recipes sent through.

I am taking recipe submissions for 3 more days (for the launch edition) and the book will be updated and re-uploaded every month with more recipes and messages from around the world.

Please include your name, country, and link to your website/blog/business. Am thrilled with the participation. Thank you!

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

 

PS: Am having a few issues with my old laptop. It’s struggling using the creative software I use for design/layout (it never used to but it is 5 years old now!) so things have taken longer than I thought PLUS am putting in time in preparing a veg garden but we are getting there! C xxx

UK Lockdown Day 9: What day is it though?

Taken in Avebury just before lockdown

I don’t know about you but I am seriously forgetting what date, what day and what time it is on occasion. It’s not a bad thing really, it’s just a little strange that’s all. If anything perhaps these things are less important right now, I’m sure most of us find ourselves preoccupied with other all-consuming thoughts.

During this time of isolation/quarantine/lockdown in the United Kingdom, whatever you want to call it, I’m finding that it’s important to keep busy, do stuff and plan forward. Despite not yet having a job yet (got shortlisted for 2 then the plug was pulled on the job positions due to the uncertainty of COVID-19), I’m still finding my days not long enough to get everything done! But that’s a good thing as these recent productive days fill me with excitement, joy and accomplishment with the simple focus on living a full and happy, purposeful life.

Happiness is to be found in the simplest of things such as planning a small abundant food garden, sowing seeds, baking, reading, writing, food preserving, photography, hearing my parents/families voices on the phone and having time to sit, watch and listen in the garden observing the busy insect and animal kingdom. Oblivious to the current global pandemic, the birds, insects and animals continue to interact intimately with their neighbours with no concept of social distancing. We are now the creatures scurrying back into our burrows, fearful, apprehensive and ever vigilant.

Today (and undoubtedly tomorrow and for the coming weeks and months) I feel very grateful. Our brave NHS workers, carers, shop workers, delivery drivers, warehouse operatives, factory workers, pharmacists, post office workers and more, continue to keep the country ticking over while coming in close contact with multiple members of the public every single day. It must be extra worrying for them but they just keep on doing it…

When this is all over, economically, most countries around the world will take years to recover. We may lose many small and large businesses, many will need to rebuild, people will struggle financially having lost jobs and it may take time for people to return to employment and to catch up with bills. It’s not going to be easy.

But there is one thing we as a human species are, and that is resilient.

There is hope…

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home

C xxxx

 PandemicPantry

This FREE Online Global Community Cookbook Coming Soon!

FREE 1939 War-Time Cookbook to Download NOW!

Hi all,

I came across this scanned wartime cookbook again. All the pages were originally on their sides which made it difficult to read so I’ve managed to rotate every page to make them readable and thought you might like to download it as there are some great historical recipes, the delightful thing is there are handwritten notes on some of the pages.

**CLICK HERE >>>DOWNLOAD COOKERY IN WAR-TIME HERE<<< CLICK HERE**

Enjoy!

C xxxx

The original scanned cookbook came from this blog here http://snoodlebugvintage.blogspot.com/2014/04/full-book-to-download-wartime-cookery.html

10 Wartime Stale Bread Recipes to Save Food from the Bin and Feed Your Family!

Don’t you dare throw that stale bread away and join the CoronaVirus panic buying throngs who are now discarding all their rotting ‘fresh’ produce. Bread is one of the foods I’m seeing a lot of photos of in dustbins. SAVE IT NOW from the mouth of the hungry metal monster due to take it away on ‘bin-day’ by cooking some of these delicious wartime recipes (mostly puddings). They’ll keep in the fridge for days once baked, and in the freezer for months!

I’d like to apologise in advance for the ‘amazing photography’ from 10 years ago (British sarcasm) in several of the recipes below, it was in the early days of the blog which started in 2009, when I was flat broke and REALLY struggling. I think most of my photos were taken on an old flip video camera but I like to keep them to remember my journey and it’s various challenges.

Stay calm, stay safe, stay home,

C xxxx

Padded Pudding with Mock Cream: Watch the video above. The stale bread mixed with milk and cooked with jam looks like poo. I felt like Letita Cropley carrying out one of her great culinary experiments with strange ingredients. It actually tasted great! A good life lesson, don’t judge something or someone on how it/they look, chances are they will taste surprisingly delicious… just sayin’! Click here for recipe.

Plum Charlotte: Here’s a super-frugal wartime recipe made out of stale bread and fruit that’s going a little soft. As I had two of these things in my kitchen and I’m always finding ways to make ends meet, when I saw this recipe I knew it was just what I needed.
Click here for recipe.

Bread and Butter Pudding: In Marguerite Patten’s “Victory Cookbook” there is always one pudding recipe that is an absolute ‘go-to’ when one needs comforting and one has spare eggs. All becomes good in the world when you take that first spoonful of sugary topped, eggy, bready, sultana sprinkled, nutmeggy deliciousness, especially if served with a little hot custard if you can overlook the fact that it looks like cockroaches are climbing all over my food in the photograph… Click here for recipe.

Duke Pudding: How can stale bread and grated old carrots possibly be decadent? Trust me they are when you make them into a wartime “Duke Pudding”… Seeing the rapidly drying bread on my countertop and the carrots beginning to get spotty in the fridge, it was time once again to turn nothing into something in true 1940s home-front style and create a truly delicious alternative comfort food, much needed today of all days. Excuse the photography, it was 8 years ago and I hadn’t a clue! Click here for recipe.

Danish Apple pudding: Possibly one of the WORST food photos I have taken in my life from 10 years ago. It’s blurred and I’m not sure what I took the photo with. It could have something other than a camera because I probably didn’t have one.. Don’t let the brown blurry blob put you off. I remember this pudding was fab! I need to re-create and re-photograph! Click here for recipe.

Bread and Apple Pudding:For pudding the request was for ‘bread pudding’ yet again. To avoid this wartime pudding permanently being referred to as “bread-pudding-yet-again” I turned to a large bowl of sorry looking apples for divine inspiration- after-all Sir Isaac Newton stared at apples for an awfully long time before being rewarded with an answer… Click here for recipe.

Bread and Prune Pudding: You know that can of stewed prunes that has been languishing in your larder for several years, that you don’t want to throw away because you have inherited your grandmother’s and possibly mother’s innate ability to have everything stored away for a ‘rainy day’, WELL, you are about to use it and it’s gonna taste pretty damn good! Click here for recipe.

Brown Betty: It was unusual to make bread pudding without raisins in, Brown Betty has none, no eggs or milk either which makes me think all bread puddings could indeed be made eggless. Instead, it has water, the juice, and zest of a lemon and a generous quantity of golden syrup, spices, two grated apples, a little sugar and of course LOTS of stale bread! Click here for recipe.

Bread Pudding: I re-created this recipe about 12 years ago. This wartime recipe is easy-peasy and tasty. And of course it all in the custard too. Click here for recipe.

Bread Stuffing: And finally a recipe made from stale bread that isn’t a pudding and doesn’t look like a formless brown blob. Bread stuffing is so easy to make! This photo is from about 12 years ago, my pre-vegetarian days! Click here for recipe.