Friday, 9 May 2014

Sunshine and Strawberries - here comes the weekend

Today has been a beautiful day and I was lucky enough to spend the whole morning outside in the sunshine. I have been busy assisting a very talented photographer (Aniko Towers - check out her website here) as she snapped the children at our school for the school calendar. They are wonderful children at a beautiful school and watching them relating to someone they don't know very well it's remarkable to see how well behaved they all are. These are good kids, but even so, witnessing the teachers' deft handling of them I couldn't help thinking that a career as a cat herder would be less challenging. I am exhausted. I have no idea how teachers do it calmly and patiently every day!

For everyone else out there who might also be flagging this Friday I thought I'd share with you one of my baking recipes. It's for a batch of Strawberry spelt muffins and they are sugar free, vegan and wheat free. Don't let that put you off, though - you would never know. These are divine - light and soft and sweetly delicate. A wonderfully indulgent feeling treat ideal for winding you down to the weekend.

This is the perfect recipe for when you've bought a punnet of disappointing early season or air-freighted strawberries. You know, when they are underripe and too firm and taste of nothing. Or even with the few that have gone a bit soft in the fridge. Somehow a little baking makes them more strawberry-ish. I reckon this would work pretty well with raspberries too.


125ml grape seed oil
125ml almond milk
125ml maple syrup
2tbsp agave nectar or honey
100g white spelt flour
125g whole spelt flour
1/2 cup ground almonds
2tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp fine salt
Large punnet of fresh strawberries, roughly sliced

Preheat your oven to 190 degrees C/ gas mark 5. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with papers.

Mix together the wet ingredients in a large bowl or jug. Measure out the dry ingredients in another bowl and combine. Add the dry mixture to your wet bowl and stir until combined. Fold in your berries. Divide between the muffin cases. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean and they are golden brown (around 25-30minutes). Luscious!

These are amazing still warm from the oven, but are also still really good the next morning spread with a little strawberry jam for breakfast. When your weekend starts this well, it's got to be a good one, right?

Happy weekend everyone!

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