The time has come for my monthly Bioglan blog post. You know what, it really has been such a treat playing with Bioglan superfoods. Slipping these nutritionally dense powders into our family meals and knowing that they are loaded with health boosting properties is extremely satisfying!
My previous Bioglan blog posts have been focused on the small people in our lives, cooking together and crafting ideas. This month i wanted to focus on us mamas out there who seriously need to turn into super woman in order to nail Christmas! Honestly, it is mental. Nothing prepared me for it, you have children, they hit school and BOOM their social calendars are more hectic than Kate Moss's! (well not quite but you get my drift) - so i thought i would try to help us frazzled mamas look effortlessly "stepford" or something like that...
I don't know about you but in the lead up to Christmas our door bell is always ringing with friends, family, neighbours and acquaintances dropping in Christmas cards and what not... This is all very lovely but i'm usually cursing because we never have milk in the house and the old folk think i'm a hippy when i pour almond milk in their Earl Grey. Then there's the biscuit situ they're also a bit out there! Soooo this year i thought i would get this sorted. I would make a huge jar full of homemade biscuits that have a long shelf life, cue biscotti... and i would learn to knock up a really delicious mulled wine, one that is quick and easy to throw together last minute whilst filling our house with the smell of Christmas! Impressive stuff right? i thought so.... i'm visualizing folk leaving our house warm and fuzzy and full of festive spirit, while i go back to frantically trying to keep on top of hectic family life!
Biscotti and mulled wine... just to get you in the spirit...
What you will need for the Biscotti
- 1 Cup plain flour
- 1 Cup wholemeal flour
- 3/4 Cup of almond flour (almond flour is the trendy name for finely ground almonds, and can be found among the other types of flour at the larger Sainsburys stores)
- 3 Eggs
- 1 1/2 Tsp baking powder
- Zest 3 oranges (unwaxed)
- 1/2 Cup of chocolate (i used Sainsburys Belgian milk choc chips found in the baking aisle, they also do dark chocolate ones which also work well in this recipe)
- 1/2 Cup of chopped hazelnuts (lightly toast these in the oven)
- Bioglan Fibre Boost
So as usual i have switched a couple ingredients to give this traditional Italian biscuit a healthy'ish spin... there is no fat except the good kind that comes from almonds and per biscuit the sugar content isn't too high.
Right lets get to it.... Crank up the old oven to 170c and line a baking tray with some parchment paper. In a large bowl mix together the flour, Bioglan Fibre Boost, almond flour (ground almonds), baking powder and salt. In another bowl beat the eggs and sugar together then mix in the orange zest, toasted hazelnuts and the milk choc chips. Gently fold in the flour. This dough will be sticky, don't worry that's the way it should be. After mixing, leave it to rest for five minutes.
Divide the dough in half. With wet hands shape the dough into two flat logs. Bake for 35 mins. Keep an eye on them... if they look a golden brown colour before the 35 mins is up cover them with a piece of baking parchment to stop the top getting any darker.
Remove from oven (keep the oven on though) and leave cool for 5 mins. Using a very sharp knife cut the biscotti diagonally, into 3/4 inch thick slices. Arrange the biscotti on the baking tray and return to the oven for a further 20 mins.
Let them cool completely. Then all you have to do when surprise visitors land on your doorstep is open your jar of homemade, YES HOMEMADE (because you ARE a legend!) biscotti, stuff them - ahem - i mean arrange them beautifully in a rustic box! (mine are in a cardboard Riverford tomato container) and tadaa you are the perfect picture of a domestic goddess...
Hey also biscotti freeze really well!
Now for the mulled wine with a difference...
what you will need
- 4 Cups of good quality apple cider
- 1 (750ml) Bottle of red wine (organic would be best)
- 1/4 Cup of honey
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Orange (un-waxed) zested and juiced
- 4 Whole cloves
- 3 Star anise
- 4 Oranges peeled for garnish
- 1 Tbsp Bioglan Beetroot powder... That's right!!!
Now this is a extremely complicated process... put all the ingredients in a pan and simmer for 10 mins, stir occasionally to make sure the honey doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan... it's so doable isn't it!?!! And honestly, it tastes a whole world better than the pre-made stuff. Pour into a pretty mug and garnish with your unwaxed orange skin (i used a potato peeler to get a nice curl).
*Oh just in case you were wondering Raphi doesn't have some hideous finger disease, she's been painting, then decided she wanted to get in amongst the cooking action...
Let me just talk health for a second... i know booze doesn't exactly come under the healthy umbrella, but its Christmas and this is real life and unless you are teetotal the chances are you are going to partake in a beverage or two... So this is why i wanted to introduce the idea of a cleansing super food like Bioglan Beetroot Powder to this traditional winter warmer. Beetroot has been linked with lowering blood pressure and boosting exercise performance. It is full of nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants. Now combine this with a good quality organic red wine that is also rich in antioxidants and you have a really rather lovely drink. Obviously these wonderful health boosting properties only apply when drunk in MODERATION! My other reason for adding beetroot is that this wonderful rich, sweet, hearty, in-season veg really does go incredibly well with red wine...
So there you have it, a chocolatey orange and hazelnut biscotti with a mug of beetroot mulled wine... minimal effort but looks the biz... X
Hey if you make any of my recipes or have any thoughts, please leave a comment in the comment box below, i would love to hear your feedback and will reply as soon as i can, all the best, Wink X