Creamy courgetti

I bought a spiralizer last October but never really used it before Chrismas. I have no reason why, other than pure laziness and not wanting to wash it up… Bad I know but I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one! Anyway new year, new me and all… Ha! Really I became more interested in healthy cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. Plus I knew it looked pretty on photos and you all know how I feel about food photography! It’s a pretty big part of my life now! Anyway the spiralizer is now my best friend! I’m yet to try other vegetables and fruit but for now courgetti is my best friend and cucumber isn’t bad either! I love using them as a pasta substitute and to make summer salads more exciting! Cucumber is great as a substitute for noodles, just add sesame oil and you can’t go wrong after that!

These past two weeks I’ve been having quite a lot of courgetti! Both hot and cold dishes, vegan and vegetarian dishes and fish dishes too! Some of my favourites have been this one (obviously) my salmon and pea and my salmon and mango! All delicious and so incredibly easy! Other than the washing up bit… I either tackle it straight away or leave it for someone else to do.. I cook!!! I shouldn’t have to clean as well right?

Today I’m sharing with you a super simple and quick summer dish! It’s got that whole pesto vibe going on! And we all love a good pesto pasta covered in cheese! This is my healthy alternative and it’s just as creamy, cheesy, delicious and satisfying! I really do recommend mixing everything really well in a large bowl before you serve to ensure everything is coated in the creamy sauce or you just get chunks of creaminess and not the full creamy effect!

If you aren’t sure about the whole raw thing it’s got going on, try steaming the courgetti for a few minutes to soften it up a little. That way it will have more of a pasta texture!

Oh and if you’re vegan/plant based, either leave out the Parmesan or swap it for nutritional yeast or a few toasted pumpkin seeds! Just as delicious!

Ingredients

1 large courgette/ 2 small

1 avocado

1/2 a lemon

2 spring onions

100g asparagus

1 tbsp olive oil

10g Parmesan cheese

Method

Start by rinsing the courgette and chopping off the top and bottom. Either spiralize or use a vegetable peeler/julienne and peel the courgette into ribbons. Transfer to a large bowl. Preheat the grill to high and line with foil. Chop the asparagus woody ends off and place on the lined grill until golden/charred. Keep a close eye on them, they turn golden quickly. Chop the charred asparagus into quarters and add to the large bowl. Half the avocado and scoop the avocado flesh into a mug. Mash with the back of a fork until smooth. Squeeze in the lemon juice and olive oil and stir to combine. Slice the spring onions and add these to the avocado mix. Grate the Parmesan and add half to the avocado mix. Stir to combine. Add to the large bowl with the spiralized courgette and asparagus. Stir really well to make sure everything is coated in the avocado cream. Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with the remaining Parmesan to finish. Sprinkle over some pepper and basil if you like.

Get tucked in!

Xx

June favourites

So its that time of the month again where I tell you all about what I’ve been loving! From food to fashion, and much more! Hope you guys enjoy this rather long read.. Let’s get started!

Ingredient

I’ve been using this yogurt for about 6 months and regularly but never really thought about mentioning it before! I don’t know why as I use it most days in pretty much everything but hey ho! The collective natural straight up yoghurt! I’ve thought about it more so this week as I’ve had it most days with my granola but I love it in everything! Smoothies, on toast with berries, with tomatoey eggs, with sweet potato fries, with eggs and guac, with salmon, on curries/stews! The list goes on! It’s such an all rounder and it’s the only yogurt I’ve found that is full fat and healthy! With nothing added to it! It gets a big thumbs up from me all day every day! And it’s cheep too! So get buying!

 

Goes well with –

Apricot and cranberry granola 

Recipe

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My favourite I’ve come up with this month is either my Moroccan spiced aubergine which I haven’t shared yet but that also has a dollop of the collective yogurt on! Or my Cinnamon and almond smoothie bowl  or my raw almond buckwheat porridge! There’s actually loads but them three in particular have amazed me! The aubergine one was just so easy yet so flavoursome, pretty and enjoyable! The two breakfast recipes both use Pip and nut almond butter and I love the illusion they both give like you’re eating a whole jar of almond butter in one go! Both so silky and creamy too!

My favourite recipe that I’ve cooked which hasn’t been mine is the Hemsley and Hemsley sisters chicken tinola from their first book! It reminded me so much of the chicken stew my mum used to make the day after we’d had a Sunday roast! So warming, comforting and soothing! Packed full of flavour and incredibly nourishing too! I’m so glad I’ve got some leftovers in the freezer! They use bone broth for stock and it honestly makes a world of a difference to both the flavour and your health! For more information head over to their blog or buy their first book and they will tell you all about the amazing benefits of bone broth and other yummy things!

Snack

Hmmmm this is such a hard one because I’m always trying out new snacks to review but my favourite snack, not treat, snack would probably be punch foods super seeds! I’m currently making my way through all their smartie like tubes full of deliciously flavoured seeds but my favourite so far is probably the chilli smoke as I love spicy food! You can eat it as it is or sprinkle over salads or currys etc. Next to that would probably be cinnamon! As I’m also addicted to cinnamon and go through jars and jars of it a month! I love this one as it is, with chocolate, sprinkled on to porridge or yogurt and tagines! My full review for these super nutritious and handy tubes will be up in the next couple of weeks! You can also buy big bags of the seeds and refill your tube to take to work/school with you the next day! Super useful and environmentally friendly!

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Drink

If you know me, you’ll know I love herbel tea! I have a whole cupboard devoted to herbel tea! It’s pretty ridiculous really as I only bounce around 2/3 flavours but hey you never know what might tickle your tastebuds one day might not the next! That’s all I’m saying! But as of this week my favourite tea is Taylor’s sour cherry! And no not because my brother is called Taylor but because this tea is just so so so soothing and delicious! There’s cherry in there and I think liquorice… My mum said she couldn’t taste liquorice but I could so! I also love sweet rhubarb and spiced apple from the same brand, especially in the winter months! I’ve yet to try their other flavours but I’ll be sure to let you know when I do!

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Organisation

I love organising, slightly obsessive some might say, but that’s no bad thing! I have a diary which I never use, I make a ton of lists and go through notepads like there’s no tomorrow but my favourite organisational piece is my weekly planner! I have no clue who it’s by but I picked it up in Paperchase around Christmas time and I use it religiously every week! I write the meal plan, what I’m doing, who I’m meeting, to do lists, things I need to remember etc. etc. I think I use it more than my diary because I can fit so much more on it, other people can read it too, it’s constantly on view so I don’t need to flick through pages and I never forget things! It’s basically our house planner as everyone looks at it! But yeah, love it and I’ll be sure to purchase another when I run out of pages! Which is looking like pretty soon. Birthday list maybe?

Nut butter 

You guys know I love nut butter! I can get through a jar in under two weeks! So I thought it was pretty suiting that I devote a title to my beloved obsession! This months jar of choice has got to be Pip and nuts honey cinnamon cashew butter! I’ve filmed a little overnight oats recipe using this bad boy and oh my, it’s jaw dropping and I’ll make sure I share it soon but in the meantime, go buy yourself a jar of this so you too can experience the deliciousness! It’s just incredible guys, like I say about everything else… Incredible… But this truly is really incredible!

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Fitness

Forget about the gym, this moth I’m loving a countryside walk! Whether it be a long one in the day or a short one in the evening I’m loving them! As its warmer and lighter they are just so enjoyable and you can take your mind off of things, clear your head, do some exercise and have a good old natter in the doing so! Also you can bring a pack up which I love to prepare (obviously) or a flask of hot chocolate/smoothie! Enjoy it sat on a mountain or a bench in the sun! Just perfect! Try skipping the gym and going for a walk instead this summer! Get some fresh air and make the most of the summer months!

Fashion

Hmmm I don’t really have a fashion favourite this month! I guess if I had to choose it would be a top from Zara! Most of my wardrobe is from Zara but this I’ve worn a couple of times this month as it can be dressed up or down and worn in the evening and day! I wore this to Good Roots London with a  jacket and jeans. It was useful as it was dressy when my coat was off but casual when my coat was on, if that makes sense! And I’ll be able to wear it in the summer with shorts or light jeans!

Restaurant

This is between two amazing and new restaurants! New I mean new to me! Firstly a sushi bar in Beverly near Hull called Ogino. It was so modern and classy inside for one, and two I had the nicest sushi I’ve ever had and believe me I’ve had a lot of sushi in my time! I’ve been to a number of restaurants in Sheffield, London and Hawaii and this was honestly the freshest and tastiest sushi ever! For starter I had a salmon nigiri selection and each piece had a different catch of salmon/prepared in a different way with various toppings! It was just so fresh, simple but they all tasted completely different! So flavoursome and healthy! For main I had a selection of nigiri again and some sashimi. Again all the chefs selection, catch of the day and all seasonal. As well as it being so so so tasty it was also presented really well on the most gorgeous plates and the waiter was very polite. It was just a really nice and resonable meal! You could also get hot dishes as well and there was a wide selection of traditional Japanese desserts! I really do recommend it if you live near Hull! Secondly the Grain store at Kings Cross, London. We went here after we’d finished up at Goodroots festival as it was close to the train station! Even though we had eaten our way through the day we still managed to fit this gorgeous meal in! We arrived a little early than our booking as it was raining and we didn’t really want to go trailing round shops for an hour so we sat down and had a drink for a bit! I had some fresh apple juice from a local farm and it tasted a whole lot better than any carton juice I’ve had before! Apple juice doesn’t really taste like apples but this actually did! Talking from someone who used to be obsessed with apple juice! Drinking litre cartons a day because I didn’t like the taste of water! Not great I know.. Anyway we had drinks and then made our way over to the table. It’s so big inside and the whole kitchen is on view so you can have a nosey at what the chefs are up to which I love. It’s also done out really well with white furniture and they have that whole French theme going on too which I love! Everything in this restaurant is seasonal and fresh so I knew my healthy day was going to continue! For starter I had roasted artichokes with a light sourdough sauce and chunky green salsa and it was incredible! I’ve never had real artichokes before, by that I mean I’ve never had artichokes that aren’t from a jar! They tasted completely different but ever so delicious! Then for main I had the fish of the day which was stone bass. I’ve never even heard of stone bass and I can’t compare it to any other fish as it had its own unique taste! It was so chunky, I loved the texture and it was full of flavour! Hopefully I’ll be able to try this fish again one day! It came with borlotti beans, thinly sliced raw courgette and a olive oil, fennel, lemony sauce. So fresh, delicious and flavoursome. If you are visiting London for the day I really do recommend this! It’s about five minutes from the station and it’s so fresh, light and delicious. I’ll definitely be going again next time I’m in London! I really really want to try their brunch! It sounds amazing!

Event

I think we can all guess what my favourite event was this month! Goodroots festival! If you don’t know already by all my instagrams, tweets and YouTube videos! It’s a healthy food festival where a number of healthy chefs had stalls and were doing talks. There were loads of food stalls and healthy snack stalls, natural makeup and clothes stalls. The list goes on. I ate some incredible food! My favourites being Nama foods blueberry cheesecake and raw pizza. Also, Livias Kitchen raw millionaire bites, my favourite is the almond and raisin! Pana chocolate were there and I mean that’s my favourite raw chocolate brand ever so of course I had to try and buy every single flavour they had on offer. I tried the most amazing raw salted caramel cheese cake from Hardi Hood (you can here more about that in my next snack review). Some amazing cookies from Rhythm 108 and some delicious chocolate peanut butter humous from Chicp! Just think bean brownie batter! All incredible! I also went to the Hemsley and Hemsley sisters talk, mainly on gut health but that was really useful for me as I suffer with digestive problems and ever since I’ve been following their rules about food combining and what to eat and what not to eat I’ve already seen a million improvements! I also went to the Green kitchen stories chat where they showed us how to make one of their smoothies from their new book! Go buy it if you haven’t already! Then I went to a chat all about how to turn a blog into a business and I learnt so much, it was really inspirational and reasuring and helped me feel more confident about what I’m doing and where I want to be in the future! Everyone came across really well and I even managed to get photos with Livia, Ella Woodward and Melissa Hemsley! I hadn’t felt that happy and confident in ages. I went through the day without any worries about food or anything else for that matter and just felt this all round buzz off of everyone around me and it was nice to feel included in a little community! Where everyone was trying to promote health and wellbeing! I already can’t wait for next year!

Song

Too good by Drake and Rhianna

It has a nice little summery beat, very singable and good to clean to…

YouTuber

Hobbie Stuart. Purely for his bubbly and friendly personality and absolutely amazing covers of all the songs I’m loving at the minute. Go check him out for positive energy and really good songs.

Discovery

You guys know I’m a massive Hemsley and Hemsley fan! I’ve got both their books, their spiralizer, I’ve watched their TV show and I use their book pretty much every day without fail! Ever since going to their chat about gut health I realised what I was doing wrong. Basically eating grains that were hard to digest, bad food combining, eating way too fast and eating way too much natural sugars. So I’ve decided to stop eating grains, learn about food combining and cut down on my natural sugar intake. Even though it’s natural, it still had the same effects on our body. So healthy treats are basically still treats. Anyway they also talked about two key things, one kimchi and two bone broth. Kimchi is a traditional Korean fermented food. It’s basically sauerkraut but with a little bit more of a kick! Fermented foods help digestion as they are putting good bacteria back into your stomach to heal your gut lining and aid digestion. Just what I need! So I’ve cooked myself up my first batch of kimchi and it’s ready for me to use throughout this month! Secondly bone broth, again amazing for digestion, packed full of protein, vitamins and minerals and many other things! It’s also so so SO much nicer and better for you than stock! And so easy and hassle free! You just shove your leftover bones from roasts and chicken thighs etc. into a pan, cover with hot water, add a few vegetables, apple cider vinegar and bay leaves, if you like, and leave to simmer with the lid on for 6-12 hours. And there you have it! Drain it and use it instead of stock! It honestly adds so much more depth and flavour to a dish and is so nourishing for you too! Both of these things are new too me and I can already see the difference with my stomach and it’s only been a week! I can’t recommend them more!

Cookbook

My all time favourite cookbook would have to be the Hemsley and Hemsley’s first book – the art of eating well. I’ve learnt so much about nutrition from it and there hasn’t been one recipe I haven’t liked! I use it daily and all the family and guests love it too! Second would have to be a purchase I made at Goodroots! Livias kitchen cookbook! I only bought this because after trying her millionaire bites and buying all the tubs I was pretty sure I was going to love this cookbook too! I’d never tried a recipe off of her blog before like I normally do before buying a book. I was just hooked as soon as I’d tried her bites! And I’m so glad I did! Last week (the first week of buying it) I cooked four recipes out of it, in one week… That’s how much both my family and I love it! They are so indulgent yet healthy! And best of all they don’t taste healthy, if you know what I mean! They are also really easy too! A must buy for anyone looking for healthy alternatives to their favourite desserts or anyone wanting to try healthy baking and need something to satisfy their sweet tooth! I recommend both! They are now the two books I couldn’t live without!

Instagram

Sophie from Luckystaranise. So colourful, bright, fresh and well presented photos. They are a vegetarian food photographer, everything she makes/photographs looks incredible. Everything looks so delicious and well presented. Such a positive and healthy feed and I love it!

Photo

My photo with Melissa Hemsley as it shows how happy I was at Goodroots and how all my worries just seem to blow away that day!

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So that’s my favourites of the month of June guys! I hope you found it interesting and informative! Maybe you’ll go check a few of my favourite things out too!

Thank you for reading,

Leitchy xx

Qnola tester tubs

 

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Almond and vanilla 

A taste of Christmas! The hint of cinnamon is incredible! Not overpowering or too subtle! Just right!! Fell in love with this as soon as the box of all the little tubs arrived! Such simple yet beautiful packaging! Great to keep and take on the go or refill the boxes with snacks or more qnola for another day! I wanted to keep it simple when tasting these little tubs! Yogurt and bluebs that’s it! And I’m so glad I did! It’s so flavoursome! It contains quinoa, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut, almonds, coconut oil, coconut palm sugar, chia seeds, vanilla powder, cinnamon and salt! That’s it! Grain, gluten, dairy and refined sugar free! And so so so delicious! As soon as I took a bite I wanted to get on the web and order a full bag! It’s quinoa puffs so it’s a bit like puffed rice if you have ever had that before yet more nutty and flavoursome and nutritious! I imagine this would be just as yummy with milk and a chopped up banana! I know I said it’s the taste of Christmas which I LOVE but I would still eat this all year round! As its so so so so so yummy! I can’t get over it guys! The best granola/rawnola/qnola I’ve had all year! And I’ve had my fair share of healthy breakfast cereals! Almond and vanilla is such a likeable flavour too so if you are undecided which flavour to try! Try this! I’m sure you’ll love it! And all your friends and family too! I’m trying to savour every bite! Very unlike me! That’s how good this is! Can’t get over it! Go get buying!

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Beetroot 

So summery and best of all pink! I would have never guessed beetroot if the box hadn’t plainly written beetroot! To be honest I’m kind of glad because I don’t know how I would have felt if it did.. Haha! It’s coconut! And you guys know how much I adore coconut! I put coconut flakes on pretty much everything, cook with coconut milk and oil and buy a whole lot of coconut tasting snacks! This is a little girls/boys dream breakfast! If you would have handed me a bowl of pink cereal when I was little, I would have gobbled it up without knowing it was healthy! So all the mums reading this, why not try this beetroot qnola?! So nutritional, nutty, coconut and PINK! Even I love that I t’s pink and I’m 19 sooo.. So it contains quinoa (obviously) coconut in many forms (obviously) pistachio nuts and, may I add, the prettiest pistachios EVER! They add a bit of pink too!!!! Beetroot powder (obviously) chia seeds and pink Himalayan salt! That’s it!! Incredibly good for you, packed full of flavour and texture! It also makes pretty patterns in your yogurt and probably milk too if you tried! And and and it’s PINK! Another love from me!

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Ginger and goji

It reminds me of proper homemade ginger biscuits! I must admit I’m not a ginger girl but this wasn’t bad! It was subtle and had other things to nibble on such as coconut, sunflower seeds, goji berries and sesame seeds! This one is probably the prettiest out of all of them as it’s got splashes of red and black running throughout and you know how I love pretty breakfasts! I imagine this would taste good sprinkled through homemade chocolate for presents! Especially round Christmas time! They could be ginger bread man shape! They would be really cute! So yeah if you like a bit of soothing and warming ginger in a morning this one is for you! Paired with cooling creamy yogurt and you’ve hit it right on the head! It only contains quinoa, coconut, sunflower seeds, goji berries, coconut oil, sesame seeds, ginger and salt! You can’t get healthier than that can you??

 

Savoury

It’s strange, a little spicy, cheesy and stuffing like but I love it! It weirdly works really well with plain natural yogurt! It’s a strange combination but it really does work! I imagine it would be gorgeous sprinkled over roasted veggies/risottos/salads! It’s also great for someone looking for a cheese alternative! Sprinkle it over your sweet potato or pizza for a bit of crunch and cheesy hit! I don’t think it’s a smoothie blend but hey I’ve not tried it! But it is a yogurt blend too! So different but interesting, exciting and yummy! You know you could just eat this one on its own too! As an afternoon snack in the sun or as a nibble starter for guests! It’s just delicious! It’s also this vibrant yellow/orange which I love! When it comes to photos this one is on your side guys! Just saying! And it contains only the healthiest and yummiest ingredients – quinoa (as you should know by now) sunflower and pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, cashew nuts, nutritional yeast, Tamari, sesame seeds, turmeric (for colour), rosemary (subtle yet yummy), basil (gives an Italian spice feel), pink Himalayan salt, chia seeds, reishi and chilli flakes! I think I’m going to buy a bag of this just to see how well it goes with a variety of other dishes and sides! Let’s get experimental! So yeah to sum up its not sweet or a normal breakfast flavour but it’s delicious! And for the those who like experimenting, finding new things or are savoury at heart this is for you! Orrrr if you want a healthy snack alternative, cheese alternative, even crouton alternative this is for you! So really it’s for everyone!

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Coconut and cashew

Aka coco pops! It just tastes like coco pops! Not as sweet obviously because it’s cacao and not cocoa but it’s better because it contains coconut and I love coconut! You know I looooove yogurt! Oh and there’s little nibs of cacao too! Even better right! I ate mine with yogurt and bluebs! Fair test and all but I bet it would be amazing with milk and have more of a coco pop effect! Or sprinkled in with popcorn and the little nibs would melt abit! It would also be amazing with peanut butter nice cream and chocolate or berry smoothies! Frozen in banana pops! The list goes on! For all those mums and dads out there looking for a healthier alternative to coco pops! This is your one! Or all those adults out there… Either way! You’ll love this! Not too bitter and not too sweet! The just the right amount of everything! Get buying!

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So that’s it guys! My full review! I was so impressed with every single one of these delicious tubs! So much so I’ve ordered some bags! Hope you find this list useful! Maybe even persuade you to order a bag too!

Thank you for reading,

leitchy xx

Top ten things that happened this month – June

  1. My brother turning 21 and going out for the best sushi I’ve ever had!
  2. Meeting Deliciously Ella, Livias Kitchen and the Hemsley and Hemsley sisters at Goodroots festival.
  3. Not panicking at all in London and thoroughly enjoying myself and eating all day long with no worries about food or anything else in the world.
  4. At Goodroots London I went to a number of talks and a lot talked about nutrition and how even natural sugars should be kept as low as possible! This will help when it comes to my stomach!
  5. Not having to go to the doctors for six months!
  6. I finally stopped taking 4 of my tablets! Eating fermented food is working!
  7. Getting sent free yogurts and granola off of brands I’ve loved for ages!
  8. Famous chefs starting to like and comment on my recipes more!
  9. My brother coming home from university!
  10. I’ve started to educate myself in nutrition and learn about food combining, fermentation and many other foodie things!

 

Hope you guys enjoyed this short but sweet post! Maybe it will inspire you to look back at your month too and pick out your favourite things!

Xx

Raw buckwheat and almond porridge

 

I’ve cooked with buckwheat for over a year now, whether that be in salads, porridge, as a substitute for rice or quinoa in soups/stew/curry and more, and I absolutely adore it! I’d seen a few raw buckwheat porridge creations on Instagram, I think there was a raspberry one and orange one that took my fancy and I thought, why not give it a go? Oh and I’m so glad I did!

It’s so incredibly nutty and indulgent! I couldn’t get enough! I used almond butter to flavour mine but feel free to use any nut butter/nut or fruit! I found using nut butter made it taste like you were basically eating a whole jar of almond butter! Heaven or what?!?!

I was so disappointed when I’d finished! In the future I think I’ll make a double or triple batch to last me a few days, for busy mornings or friends visiting! I imagine it would also be perfect as a dessert after a special meal! Or anytime of day really… Try halving it and having  a post workout snack! Great source of protein and healthy fats!

I came up with this recipe a few weeks ago and I rarely make the same recipe within the same month again because I tend to test a completely different recipe at every meal time but writing this now is making me crave this so badly! I know what I’m soaking tonight…

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For those of you that have never heard of buckwheat it’s actually not wheat! It’s both gluten and grain free! It’s actually part of the rhubarb family!! Mind boggling I know… It’s rich in magnesium as well as flavonoids which help your body absorb vitamin c and act as antioxidants in the body! It’s also known as an anti ageing beauty food as it helps prevent wrinkles! Buckwheat has a low glycemic index and high levels of digestible protein, fibre, iron and essential amino acids, as well as magnesium! It can be found raw, roasted, in groat form, flour and noodles! When buying noodles make sure you buy 100% buckwheat as many brands tend to shove wheat in there too!

Now enough of the science lets get back to the recipe!!

Ingredients – Serves 1 

50g buckwheat groats

water

2 tbsp smooth almond butter

1 red apple

30g pomegranate

5g flaked almonds

 

Method

Weigh the buckwheat into a bowl and cover with water then pop in the fridge and leave to soak overnight.

In the morning, drain and rinse the buckwheat and pour into a blender.

Add a splash of water and the almond butter and blend until smooth and creamy.

Pour into a small glass/bowl

Chop the apple into small pieces and scatter over the porridge with the pomegranate.

Toast the almonds in a dry pan over a high heat until golden and then pour over the raw porridge to finish.

Enjoy xx

Crazy good right?