frugal feeding http://frugalfeeding.com n. frugality; the quality of being economical with money or food. Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:00:44 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.3 Bircher Muesli http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/21/bircher-muesli/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/21/bircher-muesli/#comments Tue, 21 Jul 2015 10:00:44 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8820 Bircher muesli this; Bircher muesli that. It seems that if you neglect to start each day with a bowl of overnight oats, then something’s awry – such is the popularity of Bircher muesli. But with breakfast preeminence comes a hefty price tag. The solution? A recipe for Homemade Bircher Muesli. Despite its current status asContinue reading

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What Is Bircher Muesli

Bircher muesli this; Bircher muesli that. It seems that if you neglect to start each day with a bowl of overnight oats, then something’s awry – such is the popularity of Bircher muesli. But with breakfast preeminence comes a hefty price tag. The solution? A recipe for Homemade Bircher Muesli.

Despite its current status as the in-vogue breakfast of the masses, the roots of Bircher muesli first began to take hold at the very beginning of the 20th Century. Invented by Swiss nutritionist, Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Brennar, this was the original rendition of the iconic cereal.

It seems strange that a breakfast designed for use in a Swiss sanitorium should become so popular over a century later. But Bircher’s faith in raw vegetables and fruits certainly rings true, now more than ever.

Bircher Muesli Recipe

That Bircher muesli is so ineffably popular in supermarkets is somewhat surprising. It’s a breakfast that demands being made the evening before consumption. You’d assume more people would be willing to spend the required 10 minutes cobbling it together. The result of homemade Bircher muesli is cheaper and more delicious; the power of convenience never ceases to amaze me.

But what is Bircher muesli if, as claimed, it is different from what we’d now define as “standard” muesli? The original recipe is far simpler than the one found below. And a little less appetising, at least in appearance.

It was essentially a mush of grated apple accompanied by a respectable ratio of oats, condensed milk, lemon juice and nuts. The creation of a physician obsessed with the restorative powers of raw vegetables and fruits. But on to the making!

Bircher Muesli

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 50g porridge oats
  • 10g each of jumbo oats, barley flakes & rye flakes
  • 20g plump raisins
  • 5g each of pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds
  • 5ml lemon juice
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 40ml apple juice
  • 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
  • 30g chopped walnuts
  • 1 large apple, grated
  • 40g dried mixed fruit, whatever you like
  • 50g raspberries

Method:

  1. In a large bowl mix together the oats, flakes, raisins, seeds, lemon juice, milk and apple juice. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
  2. Before serving, stir through the yoghurt, walnuts, grated apple, dried mixed fruit and 40g of the raspberries. Serve with the remaining raspberries.

Recipe for Bircher Muesli How To Make Bircher Muesli

Cost: This isn’t a basic Bircher muesli recipe – things can get a lot more bare bones than what you see before you. Despite that, four portions shouldn’t set you back much more than £1.65. Quite possibly less.

To give that some context, pots of Bircher muesli can often retail for upwards of £1.75. That means you can make your own for less than a quarter of the price. And yours will have beautifully ripe British raspberries.

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Tomato and Olive Salsa http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/16/tomato-and-olive-salsa/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/16/tomato-and-olive-salsa/#comments Thu, 16 Jul 2015 10:00:07 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8808 One of our favourite ways to eat during the summer months is very much in the Spanish style of tapas. Though not always Spanish in origin, the food that fills our table at this time of year is varied and plentiful. And of course, every spread of tapas must feature a salsa; this recipe forContinue reading

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How To Make Tomato and Olive SalsaOne of our favourite ways to eat during the summer months is very much in the Spanish style of tapas. Though not always Spanish in origin, the food that fills our table at this time of year is varied and plentiful. And of course, every spread of tapas must feature a salsa; this recipe for Tomato and Olive Salsa is one of our favourites. There’s a salsa out there for everyone; mango, for instance, makes for a light, refreshing salsa. But this recipe is on the other end of the spectrum entirely. And, while it’s still light, the heavy dose of olive oil and sliced olives gives the dish a punchy flavour.

Recipe for Tomato and Olive Salsa

It’s that firm-flavoured characteristic that means it pairs well with simply flavoured main courses and starters. It would, for instance, accompany a fillet or two of pan-fried mackerel spectacularly. Feeling a little flush and fancy a treat? Little better would help bring that rare rump steak alive. But remember; a little meat goes a long way.

If you’re going to make the most of this salsa, don’t hold back on the flavourings. Extra virgin olive oil may be relatively expensive, but generous glugs here and there can be so much more effective than a timid drizzle. And if there’s one thing worse than splashing out a little, then it’s probably wasting good food.

Tomato and Olive Salsa

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • A small handful of kalamata olives, finely chopped
  • 1 chilli, finely sliced
  • 2 spring onions, finely sliced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • a generous pinch of salt
  • a twist of black pepper
  • 300g cherry tomatoes, quartered

Method:

  1. Thoroughly mix together the olives, chilli, spring onions, olive oil and seasonings in a large bowl.
  2. Gently fold through the tomatoes, ensuring full coverage and serves.

Tomato and Olive Salsa Recipe How To Make Tomato and Olive Salsa

Cost: British tomatoes this time of year are remarkably cheap (and remarkably delicious). At 75p for a 300g punnet at my local grocers, it’s difficult not to cram my face full of them at every opportunity.

Of course, the secondary benefit of such cheap tomatoes is an inexpensive tomato and olive salsa; it shouldn’t set you back much more than £1.50.

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Homemade Muesli http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/08/homemade-muesli/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/08/homemade-muesli/#comments Wed, 08 Jul 2015 10:00:21 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8796 Not something I indulged in for many years, muesli has in recent months made itself a permanent fixture of my mornings. Muesli can certainly be described as one of the healthy breakfasts, easy to separate from most sugar-laden cereals. But some ingredients in commercial muesli can be sneaky and coming up with a Homemade MuesliContinue reading

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Recipe for Homemade Muesli

Not something I indulged in for many years, muesli has in recent months made itself a permanent fixture of my mornings. Muesli can certainly be described as one of the healthy breakfasts, easy to separate from most sugar-laden cereals. But some ingredients in commercial muesli can be sneaky and coming up with a Homemade Muesli Recipe can give you back control.

The issue is that many commercial mueslis contain artificially sweetened ingredients. Companies, therefore, don’t need to list sugar as an ingredient. Sweetened ingredients include banana chips, papaya, pineapple and dates. Make your own homemade muesli and this compulsion by large companies to sweeten even healthy breakfasts can be sidestepped.

Healthy Muesli Recipe

But making a truly healthy muesli recipe wasn’t simply an exercise in taking back some control, it was a test to see if homemade muesli can be thrown together for a reasonable price. It can!

Containing many of the same ingredients as commercial muesli – barley flakes and rye flakes – this recipe for homemade muesli comes in at roughly the same price as the offerings of cheaper brands. Though ‘basics’ muesli isn’t taken into account in that reckoning because it’s essentially overpriced porridge oats. Harsh? Perhaps. But a breakfast has to be top notch if it’s going to set you up for the day.

Is Muesli Healthy

The difference? The muesli featured here uses a ‘luxury’ mix of dried fruits – cranberries, golden raisins – in addition to organic oats and flakes. If you were to make use of dried fruits even more cleverly, I’m sure you could reduce the price further still. Personally, the slightly inflated spend is more than worth it for the quality of the breakfast involved.

Naturally, there’s another glaring benefit of producing your own homemade muesli; choice. You can choose exactly what you’d like to go into your muesli. Sunflower seeds? Not a problem. Sesame seeds? Easy!

Healthy Breakfasts

It gives you a freedom of choice that you could only dream of at the supermarket checkout. Take back control of breakfast; make your own, homemade muesli!

Homemade Muesli

Makes 650g (12 servings)

Ingredients:

  • 100g porridge oats
  • 100g jumbo oats
  • 50g rye flakes
  • 50g barley flakes
  • 100g mixed fruit
  • 100g sultanas
  • 50g flaked almonds
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds
  • 25g walnuts

Method:

  1. Take a big bowl and mix everything together thoroughly. Serve as you like it.

Homemade Muesli Recipe Healthy Breakfast Ideas

Cost: As mentioned above, the cost of this homemade muesli is roughly equivalent to the cheapest ‘luxury’ commercial mueslis. At £1.70 for 650g you’ll soon be mixing your own for good.

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Sausage and Butterbean Pasta Bake http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/06/sausage-and-butterbean-pasta-bake/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/06/sausage-and-butterbean-pasta-bake/#comments Mon, 06 Jul 2015 10:00:47 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8791 With Britain having just experienced its hottest July day on record, it’s safe to say that now is the time for cold soups, salads and healthy portions of ice cream. But that doesn’t mean to say that comfort dishes are out the window completely. You might not fancy a heavy beef stew, but a SausageContinue reading

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Summer Pasta Bake Recipe
With Britain having just experienced its hottest July day on record, it’s safe to say that now is the time for cold soups, salads and healthy portions of ice cream. But that doesn’t mean to say that comfort dishes are out the window completely. You might not fancy a heavy beef stew, but a Sausage and Butterbean Pasta Bake might just hit the spot.

I think we all remember the pasta bakes of our youth. Simple dishes, thrown together by busy mums after a hard day at work/school. They were, of course, delicious. But my sausage and butterbean pasta bake is a recipe with a difference.

Sausage and Butterbean Pasta Bake
Flavoured not with a questionable mix of ‘Italian herbs’, but with fragrant bay leaves and fennel, it’s nice to take a different approach to the classic pasta bake. The fennel, in particular, complements the pork sausages beautifully; the combination is, after all, well-known.

In fact, if you wanted to use a pork and fennel sausage for the bake, perhaps with a little apple thrown in for added sweetness, that would work beautifully. The more flavour you pack into a pasta bake, the better it’ll be. You could even experiment; a spicy lamb sausage would, for instance, add another dimension.

Recipe for Sausage Pasta Bake

If this bake doesn’t take your fancy, but you’d like a delicious pasta dish to try, check out my recipes for Spicy Chorizo and Tomato Pastaa, and Tagliatelle Primavera. You could even try your hand at making your own gnocchi…

Sausage and Butterbean Pasta Bake

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 600g pasta, penne preferable
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, mashed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds, ground
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 500g carton of passata
  • 8 pork sausages
  • 400g tin of butterbeans, drained
  • salt to taste
  • 100g cheddar cheese, grated

Method:

  1. Gently fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Once softened, add the bay leaves, ground fennel seeds, chopped tomatoes and passata. Pop the lid on and set aside to simmer.
  2. Brown the sausages in a heavy-based frying pan and set aside. Put the pasta on to boil in plenty of generously salted water.
  3. Chop each sausage into 3-4 pieces and add to the sauce, along with the butterbeans. Season to taste.
  4. Drain the pasta once cooked and allow to sit for a few minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan).
  5. Transfer the pasta to a large oven dish and stir through the prepared sauce. Top with the grated cheddar and bake until golden brown. Serve immediately, or cold the next day.

Sausage Pasta Bake Recipe How To Make Pasta Bake
Cost: Recipes for pasta bake are generally known for their frugality and comforting nature. This rendition is no different.

Despite being easily enough to feed six, it shouldn’t set you back much more than £5. Less than £1 per portion; not bad for a giant portion of comfort.

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Rhubarb Compote Flapjacks http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/01/rhubarb-compote-flapjacks/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/07/01/rhubarb-compote-flapjacks/#comments Wed, 01 Jul 2015 10:00:36 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8784 Flapjacks. I’m always looking for a different approach to them. An unadulterated flapjack, though delicious in all its buttery glory looks to me like a blank canvas, ready for painting with all manner of flavours. This recipe for Rhubarb Compote Flapjacks represents something new in my repertoire; a flapjack with a layer of preserve runningContinue reading

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Recipe for Rhubarb Flapjacks

Flapjacks. I’m always looking for a different approach to them. An unadulterated flapjack, though delicious in all its buttery glory looks to me like a blank canvas, ready for painting with all manner of flavours. This recipe for Rhubarb Compote Flapjacks represents something new in my repertoire; a flapjack with a layer of preserve running through the centre. Irresistible.

Bake these and you’ll realise that they’re old-school flapjacks with a twist. Soft, buttery and sweet; they contain oats, but even that’s not enough to convince you that they’re doing any good at all. In health terms at least. Though if it’s a healthy snack you’re after, there is a better place to look…

Recipe for Rhubarb Compote Flapjacks

The layer of rhubarb compote running through the centre – made using a recipe published here a few years ago – only adds to the feeling of decadence. The sharpness of the rhubarb, no longer the sweet forced variety, contrast beautifully with the fruitiness of the strawberries and citrus of the orange.

The result is a flapjack with a little something extra that elevates them from simple snack to divine dessert. Generously spoon a hearty helping of extra compote over the finished article and you’ll certainly not be met with a single complaint.

Compote Flapjack Recipe

If chocolate is more your thing, you might like to try my recipes for Chocolate and Hazelnut Flapjacks or Double Chocolate Flapjacks…

Rhubarb Compote Flapjacks

Makes 14-16 squares

Ingredients:

  • 200g butter, salted
  • 50g granulated sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp golden syrup
  • 400g jumbo oats (porridge oats are fine)
  • 4 tbsp rhubarb compote

Method:

  1. Grease and line a square cake tin roughly 30cmx30cm and preheat the oven to 160C/180C(fan). Melt together the butter, sugars and syrup in a pan.
  2. Once the butter and sugars have melted and dissolved, mix through the oats until fully incorporated. Everything should be covered.
  3. Press half the mixture into the prepared tin. Spread over the compote, leaving a border of around 2cm all around.
  4. Spoon over the remaining oats and press flat, gently encouraging it to the corners and ensuring the filling is fully covered.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool, before turning out and cutting into squares.

Rhubarb Flapjacks Recipe How to Make Rhubarb Flapjacks

Cost: Without the layer of compote, these flapjacks would be super inexpensive. Under £1.50. But I think the addition is worth it; the flavour it gives is a worthy investment. Compote included, these flapjacks should set you back no more than £2.60.

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Béchamel Gnocchi Bake http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/29/bechamel-gnocchi-bake/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/29/bechamel-gnocchi-bake/#comments Mon, 29 Jun 2015 10:00:22 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8778 Béchamel sauce is, perhaps, one of the most comforting. It, therefore, seemed only right that it was the sauce chosen to envelope my beautifully light, but heartwarming pillows of homemade gnocchi. My recipe for Béchamel Gnocchi Bake must be one of the most satisfying of my collection. As you spoon it into your bowl, itContinue reading

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Recipe for Baked Gnocchi

Béchamel sauce is, perhaps, one of the most comforting. It, therefore, seemed only right that it was the sauce chosen to envelope my beautifully light, but heartwarming pillows of homemade gnocchi. My recipe for Béchamel Gnocchi Bake must be one of the most satisfying of my collection. As you spoon it into your bowl, it almost demands that take just one more – you greedy thing.

Though signifying a clash of cuisines – French and Italian – it seems that béchamel sauce and gnocchi were made for one another. Béchamel gnocchi bake is a simple dish; maybe even one of the simplest. But the rich white sauce, combined with the flavoursome and pleasantly textured potato “pasta” makes for pure temptation. It’s a cathartic experience.

Baked Gnocchi Recipe

As with my recipes for macaroni cheese and cauliflower cheese, the béchamel in this bake is infused with several layers of flavour. Though unadulterated béchamel is divine, infusing it with a few extras – bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns – takes things to the next level. Perhaps even the one after that.

How you serve this bake is up to you. Personally? A bowl of this with nothing else is my idea of heaven. Spoonful after spoonful of creamy, comforting bliss. Though, while I’m not one to advocate the use of expensive meat, a few strips of rare rump steak would go down a treat. And maybe even a gulp or two of beer. But let’s not stray too far from the frugal track.

Béchamel Gnocchi Bake

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 568ml whole milk (1 pint)
  • 3-4 peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 bay leaves
  • a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 50g plain flour
  • 50g salted butter
  • ¼ tsp English mustard
  • 1 batch of homemade gnocchi
  • 75g mature cheddar cheese, grated
  • olive oil and pepper, to serve

Method:

  1. Bring the milk, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns and nutmeg to a simmer. Remove from the heat and set aside (lid on) to infuse for at least 15 minutes (1 hour is best).
  2. Meanwhile, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and cook your gnocchi. The gnocchi are ready when they float to the surface. Drain and set aside. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C(fan).
  3. Strain your infused milk. Melt the butter in a large pan and beat in the flour until you have a thick roux.
  4. Bit by bit whisk the strained milk into the roux. Bring to a simmer and add the mustard. Cook until thick enough to generously coat the back of a spoon.
  5. Transfer the gnocchi into a large casserole dish. Pour over the béchamel, ensuring everything is coated well. Cover with the grated cheese and bake until golden brown.
  6. Serve immediately with a drizzle of olive oil and a twist of black pepper.

How To Make Baked Gnocchi Bechamel Baked Gnocchi Recipe

Cost: As we’ve seen, the batch of gnocchi used here shouldn’t set you back much more than £1. Add to that the remaining ingredients, and what you have is a hearty meal for under £2.50.

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Onion and Carrot Bhajis http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/25/onion-and-carrot-bhajis/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/25/onion-and-carrot-bhajis/#comments Thu, 25 Jun 2015 10:00:15 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8771 For me, the most enjoyable aspect of Indian food – something we indulge in twice weekly – is the sheer variety it presents. You could go for weeks on end and never eat the same dish twice. A recipe for Onion and Carrot Bhajis may not be what you were expecting, but it makes aContinue reading

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Recipe for Carrot Bhajis

For me, the most enjoyable aspect of Indian food – something we indulge in twice weekly – is the sheer variety it presents. You could go for weeks on end and never eat the same dish twice. A recipe for Onion and Carrot Bhajis may not be what you were expecting, but it makes a tempting change from the usual accompaniments.

You may not even expect these to be far removed from the more common onion bhaji, but carrots behave differently. Carrots are able to retain far more moisture, yielding a succulent, almost juicy, bhaji. And the vegetables soak up the added lime juice, endowing the bhajis with an extra dimension of flavour.

From your very first bite you realise that the addition of both lime juice and zest is something special. The moment that tangy sensation registers is one that’s difficult to forget; you’ll be forever tempted by the allure of citrus.

How To Make Carrot Bhajis

When deep frying, remember that there’s no need to dispense with the oil after one go. Let it cool before decanting it back into its bottle of origin. You’ll have to keep replenishing it as you go along, but there’s no reason why a litre of sunflower oil can’t last you a long time. Just don’t let it get too dirty.

For other frugal examples of Indian side dishes, see my recipes for Brown Chickpea Bhuna, Kalonji Flatbreads and Pineapple Chutney…

Onion and Carrot Bhajis

Makes 10-12

Ingredients:

  • 4 carrots, coarsely grated
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp gram flour
  • 2 limes, juice and zest
  • water
  • 1 litre sunflower oil, for frying

Method:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the carrots, onion and garlic. Gently toast the cumin and coriander seeds before grinding.
  2. Tip all the spices and salt into the bowl and coat the vegetables thoroughly. Do the same with the gram flour and lime zest.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok or deep fat fryer; it should be around 190C. Add the lime juice and enough water to the carrot mixture to create a light, but not watery, batter.
  4. Each bhaji should be roughly equivalent to 1 dessert spoon; fry 3-4 at a time, allowing the oil to come back to temperature between batches.
  5. Give time to drain in a kitchen roll lined bowl before serving. You can keep them warm in a gently heated oven.

Recipe for Onion and Carrot Bhajis Onion and Carrot Bhaji Recipe

Cost: The addition of two limes to this recipe increases its cost a little and certainly isn’t necessary. But given the amount of flavour they add to the mix, I’d say it’s a worthy expense.

Besides, I don’t think anyone would argue that £1.20 for 10-12 onion and carrot bhajis – plus the cost of frying, which is hard to calculate – is very much to pay at all.

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How To Make Gnocchi http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/23/how-to-make-gnocchi/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/23/how-to-make-gnocchi/#comments Tue, 23 Jun 2015 10:00:46 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8763 Gnocchi. Italian dumplings made simply with potato, flour and egg; quick and rather more exciting than the penne you were about to reach for. But how to make gnocchi? Don’t worry, it’s about as simple as Italian food gets. Around since Roman times, gnocchi – pronounced NOK-EE, or NYOK-EE – has been a staple onContinue reading

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How To Make Gnocchi

Gnocchi. Italian dumplings made simply with potato, flour and egg; quick and rather more exciting than the penne you were about to reach for. But how to make gnocchi? Don’t worry, it’s about as simple as Italian food gets.

Around since Roman times, gnocchi – pronounced NOK-EE, or NYOK-EE – has been a staple on “the Boot” (lo Stivale) for over 2,000 years, in one form or another.

Though there are regional variations, the most popular rendition of these fluffy little pillows is made with potato, flour and egg. Oh and a generous pinch of salt. But despite their rustic simplicity – and the fact they’re very quick to make – I still see so many picking them up at the supermarket.

This will not do. Shop bought gnocchi bears no resemblance to the stuff you make at home. Homemade gnocchi is divine; light, airy, fluffy. A joy to eat. Crack open a packet and you’ll only be disappointed by the stodgy, lumpy specimens within.

Making Gnocchi at Home

When it’s a case of boiling, mashing and mixing a few choice spuds with a little flour, egg and salt, why bother visiting the supermarket at all?

Serving suggestions for gnocchi are wide and varied. Essentially, you can do as you please with your little dumplings. But if you want my advice, toss them in a generous amount of browned salted butter and serve with a garnish of sage. Making gnocchi literally couldn’t be easier.

How To Make Gnocchi

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 500g potatoes
  • 150g plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • a large pinch of salt
  • a little grated nutmeg (optional)

Method:

  1. Bring your potatoes to the boil in just enough salted water to cover them. Simmer until cooked and peel with your fingers once they are cool enough to handle.
  2. Mash your boiled potatoes and transfer them to a floured surface. Add the remaining flour, save a little, salt and nutmeg to the potatoes and make a well in the centre. Crack in the egg.
  3. Use your hands to bring everything together into a soft dough. Don’t knead too much. Re-flour the surface and cut the dough into 5-6 pieces.
  4. Roll each piece of dough carefully into a rope shape (2cm in diameter) and cut into 1 inch pieces.
  5. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and add the gnocchi. They are ready when they float to the surface. Using a slotted spoon remove the gnocchi as they rise, draining well before use.

How Do You Make Gnocchi Homemade Gnocchi Recipe

Cost: Potatoes, flour and an egg. Gnocchi isn’t expensive. Even in a worst case scenario you’ll pay only £1 for the entire batch.

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Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/16/chocolate-orange-banana-traybake/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/16/chocolate-orange-banana-traybake/#comments Tue, 16 Jun 2015 10:00:01 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8756 Banana bread is one of my all-time favourite cakes. It has a texture all of its own; moist and dense. Quite unlike almost any other cake. And that’s no bad thing. But the texture of banana isn’t something everyone gets along with. For those of you who reside – rightly or wrongly – in thatContinue reading

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Recipe for Banana Cake

Banana bread is one of my all-time favourite cakes. It has a texture all of its own; moist and dense. Quite unlike almost any other cake. And that’s no bad thing. But the texture of banana isn’t something everyone gets along with. For those of you who reside – rightly or wrongly – in that camp, but want the flavour of banana in their cake, my Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake is the answer.

That’s a point worth emphasizing; this cake preserves all of the banana flavour of a classic banana bread. What it changes is the texture, yielding a lighter, more cakey sponge. It’s somewhere between a banana loaf cake and a Victoria sponge; a pleasant place to be.

With chocolate or without, only you’ll know how you like your banana cake. Personally, I find the use of a good chocolate pleasantly punctuates what can otherwise be a rather uniform sponge, one that isn’t tooth-achingly sweet. Not keen on the idea of chocolate? Glacé cherries make for an excellent substitute.

Chocolate Orange Banana Bread Recipe

Similarly, the addition of flaked almonds – always a good one – adds to the complexity of the banana cake. With the nuts, each mouthful has a tempting layer of crunch to accompany the soft, temptingly luscious inner of the cake. Enjoyed with a coffee, this chocolate orange banana traybake is pure bliss.

* n.b. though based on my original recipe for chocolate and banana loaf cake, this cake was conceived and baked by the long-suffering Katherine.

Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake

Makes 1 large traybake

Ingredients:

  • 170g butter
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large ripe bananas
  • 345g self-raising flour
  • 175g orange chocolate, in large chunks
  • 40g flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). Grease and line a 22x22cm square cake tin.
  2. Using a fork, mash the bananas in a suitably sized bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together the butter and sugar, before beating in the eggs one by one.
  3. Mix the bananas into the cake batter, before folding through the flour and chocolate.
  4. Transfer the mixture into the prepared cake tin, sprinkle with the flaked almonds and bake for 40 minutes.
  5. Turn the oven down to 150C and cook for a further 30 minutes. Set aside for 10 minutes to cool before turning out and leaving to cool completely.

Chocolate Orange Banana Traybake Banana Traybake Recipe

Cost: Banana cakes aren’t exactly decadent. But what they lack in decadence, they make up for in flavour. This lack of unnecessary bells and whistles makes for a particularly frugal cake, especially when you consider it a way to use otherwise unpleasant bananas.

All things considered, you should be able to make this delicious chocolate orange banana traybake for as little as £3.50. Though the cost does largely depend on the chocolate used.

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Caramelised Peach Cake http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/12/caramelised-peach-cake/ http://frugalfeeding.com/2015/06/12/caramelised-peach-cake/#comments Fri, 12 Jun 2015 09:59:21 +0000 http://frugalfeeding.com/?p=8750 Almost all of the fruits and vegetables I buy are sourced from within Britain. This respect for locally produced, quality ingredients helps keep my kitchen frugal and fresh. But very occasionally, this rule is broken – as rules are made to be – and a certain item will tempt me across the Channel and intoContinue reading

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Recipe for Peach Cake

Almost all of the fruits and vegetables I buy are sourced from within Britain. This respect for locally produced, quality ingredients helps keep my kitchen frugal and fresh. But very occasionally, this rule is broken – as rules are made to be – and a certain item will tempt me across the Channel and into Europe. The doughnut peaches in my Caramelised Peach Cake were too much to refuse.

The doughnut peach is a relatively new craze in Britain. Flatter, sweeter and with almost nutty notes of flavour, they lend themselves better to almost all applications than a good ol’ “regular” peach. Even their skin is thinner and more pleasant, making their unadulterated form a fine choice.

Peach Cake Recipe

One particularly popular use for the doughnut peach, given its sweetness, is in everyone’s favourite Italian fruit cocktail; the Bellini. But let’s not end our affiliation with such a fine juicy fruit just yet. Especially not when it makes such a fine addition to a delicately flavoured almond sponge. The peach is, after all, a distant cousin of the almond; a perfect pairing.

My recipe for caramelised peach cake itself is an excruciatingly simple one; delicately flavoured, but rustic all the same. There are no fancy frills. Who needs ‘em? Simply a delicious, moist sponge filled with decadently prepared fruit of the highest order. In need of icing? Look elsewhere!

Caramelised Peach Cake

Makes 1 tray cake (22x22cm)

Ingredients:

for the sponge:

  • 180g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds, heaped
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 180g self-raising flour

for the peaches:

  • 4 doughnut peaches, in rough chunks
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 25g butter

Method:

  1. Melt the butter in a non-stick frying pan. Once melted, stir through the sugar and cook until you have achieved a golden-brown caramel.
  2. Add the peaches and cook for a few minutes, until the fruit has taken on some of the caramel colour. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C(fan). Grease and line a 22x22cm square baking tin.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Incorporate the eggs one by one, before stirring through the almonds and sour cream.
  5. Gently fold the flour through the batter. Transfer half of the cake mixture to the prepared tin and spoon in half of the peaches.
  6. Add the remaining cake batter to the top of the peaches and press any remaining fruit into the surface.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Once cooked through, leave the cake to cool for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely.

How To Make Peach Cake Recipe for Caramelised Peach Cake

Cost: Now we’re getting into summer doughnut peaches can be bought for relatively little. We managed to pick up 12 for £1.50! That means that this delicious caramelised peach cake shouldn’t set you back much more than £2.70.

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