Ginger-Citrus Marmalade

I used to be a picky eater as a child (and probably into my early 20’s, if I’m honest). Some of my food dislikes were due to strong tastes that I wasn’t used to (like blue cheese or olives). Other dislikes were due to a fear of the unknown (enter fish, of all types), and some might have been due to a texture dislike (mashed potatoes and cooked peas). Now that I’m all grown up, I can safely say that I’m over most of my picky tendencies – I will try anything at least once – and even though I still don’t love mashed potatoes, Grandma no longer needs to leave me one plain boiled potato to eat 🙂

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One of those foods I remember not being keen on was marmalade. As a child, I think I found the jam too bitter with the pith and peel. Jonty attests to being in the same boat.

We were at the supermarket a few months ago, looking for another jar of honey, when we started perusing all the different jams. When we saw the marmalade, we bought a jar, wondering if our palates had changed over the years. I think we were both convinced that our adult taste buds would over-rule our childhood dislike.

And guess what? We were totally wrong! Our first spoonful had us each thinking, “Yup, this is what it tasted like as a child.” But because we’re loath to waste food, we finished the jar over the next few weeks.

The funny thing was, though, that by the time we finished the jar our taste buds had adapted and we didn’t mind the taste of the marmalade! While still a bit bitter for both of us, it was definitely elevated from our childhood memories.

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Through the process of finishing this jar, I was convinced that I could make a better marmalade – one with the bitter edge taken off. I scoured the internet and found that marmalade is one of the easier jams to make, because citrus peel is naturally abundant in pectin, so you don’t need to add additional pectin to get the jam to gel. Most of the recipes, however, call to do crazy things with the pith + peel + muslin cloths + straining.

I couldn’t be bothered for that.

Then, the March issue of Bon Appetit came to my rescue – a recipe for grapefruit marmalade, and it looked really easy.

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I tweaked the recipe and turned it into a ginger-citrus marmalade, the major difference being the amount of sugar I added. The original recipe called for 2 grapefruits + 2 full cups of sugar.

I couldn’t bring myself to add that much sugar!

Fruit is naturally sweet – there’s absolutely no need to add so much sugar, especially when you’re making a small batch and you don’t need to preserve it.

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For my first marmalade attempt, I cut the sugar down by half, to 1 cup. It tasted fantastic! Jonty deemed it to be “what marmalade is supposed to taste like”! I told him about my sugar reduction and we both wondered if I could reduce it more, and so I did.

My second batch took the sugar amount down to a 1/2 cup (and from the original recipe, requiring 2 cups, this is pretty significant). We had a bit of the first batch left, so we did a blind-taste-test! Both looked similar, so there were no give-aways there.

Jonty ended up preferring the second batch with less sugar – he actually thought it was the first batch because he thought it tasted brighter. So there you go! Marmalade has officially entered our small rotation of Pearson-approved jams (raspberry being our first true love).

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You start by adding the oranges, ginger, a small amount of orange peel, vanilla and water to a pot and reduce this down. This will take about 1 to 1.5 hours. Then add the sugar. I recommend tasting the orange mixture before you add the sugar. If you think it tastes pretty good as it is, add in 1/2 cup of sugar. If you would like your marmalade to be slightly sweeter, add a little bit more, up to 1 cup. Continue to simmer to reduce the mixture again, another hour or so. You know the jam is finished when it sticks to the back of a spoon without sliding off. At this point, stir in a bit of lemon juice and transfer it to a container with a tight-fitting lid.

That’s all it takes to make the best marmalade of your life! 😉

Ginger-Citrus Marmalade
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Condiments
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This version of marmalade uses only a small amount of orange peel, and none of the bitter white pith. With no pectin required, you can have homemade jam in only a few hours.
Ingredients
  • 350 - 375 g (2 medium) oranges, diced (peel and white pith removed)
  • Peel from of ⅓ orange, julienned (no white pith attached)
  • 2.5 cm piece of ginger, peeled and diced
  • 2½ cups water
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sugar (I used ¼ cup brown sugar + ¼ cup white sugar)
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about ½ lemon)
Instructions
  1. In a medium saucepan, combine the diced oranges, orange peel, diced ginger, vanilla extract and water. Bring to a boil then reduce to medium-low heat and allow to simmer until the mixture has reduced by ¾. This will take about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  2. Taste the reduced orange mixture to decide on the amount of sugar needed. If you prefer a very sweet marmalade, stir in up to 1 cup of sugar. Otherwise, ½ cup is enough.
  3. Continue to simmer until the jam starts to bubble and the mixture sticks to the back of a spoon, about 1 hour.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.
  5. Transfer to a glass container with a tight-fitting lid and allow to cool, uncovered, before eating.
Notes
This jam will keep in the fridge, in a well-sealed glass container, for at least few weeks, up to one month.

Enjoy this Ginger-Citrus Marmalade!

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Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies

Happy Pi Day! Two years ago, we were travelling and made a chocolate strawberry tart in the RV. Last year, we turned to flaky puff pastry for these apple-walnut hand pies. This year, we’ve strayed from the fruit-based pies and made these decadent, but healthy, mint chocolate mini pies! In my humble opinion, the flavour combination of mint + chocolate is one of the best 🙂

While there’s a time and a place for full-sized desserts, I also appreciate the smaller ones, made for a household of two.

These mint chocolate mini pies are perfect for a few different reasons:

  • They’re easy to make and don’t require an oven, meaning they’re as good to eat during the wet rainy months as the sweltering hot ones!
  • Because they’re raw, there’s no chance of a pastry crust getting soggy as it sits. This means that these pies will keep in the fridge for longer than a day!
  • If you like to keep your sweets to a minimum during the week, you can cut each mini pie in half (or smaller) and enjoy a bite or two each evening.
  • They taste rich and decadent, yet are filled with great-for-you ingredients. With no added sugar and lots of antioxidant-rich ingredients, these pies are basically health food! 😉

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The only tool needed to make these is a good food processor or high-speed blender. The crust is made out of Medjool dates, walnuts, coconut and cacao powder, processed until it forms a sticky ball. We don’t have little tart pans, so our trusty muffin tin becomes the workhorse of our small-batch dessert creations.

A little tip for you:

The crust mixture is VERY sticky. To avoid dealing with the frustration of trying to get the crust to stick to the pan, and not to your fingers, I’d suggest lining the muffin tin with plastic wrap, or parchment paper. I found that one big piece of wrap worked well – you can line 4 muffin tins quite easily, and use the hangover to press the crust mixture into the muffin tin. No messy fingers!

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The filling is made up of soaked (and drained) cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract. So easy, yet so wonderfully tasty! This gets spooned into the tart bases and everything chills in the fridge until you’re ready to eat them.

I made these a few days ago, and they really do hold up well in the fridge. As they sit, they almost take on a fudgy consistency, which I totally love, yet completely melt in your mouth as you eat them.

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Whether you’re a physics geek or not, I hope you’re enjoying Pi Day as much as we are!

Raw Mint Chocolate Mini Pies
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
These Mint Chocolate Mini Pies are raw, vegan and gluten-free, making them great for everyone to enjoy!
Ingredients
For the tart crust:
  • 100 g Medjool dates, pitted (1/2 cup, about 6 dates)
  • 25 g (1/2 cup) unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 35 g (1/3 cup) walnut pieces
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • Pinch of sea salt
For the filling:
  • ½ cup cashews, soaked in ½ cup water for at least 3 to 4 hours
  • 2 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ to 1 tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tbsp water, if needed
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in ½ cup of water, for at least 3 to 4 hours. When ready to use, drain and rinse the cashews, discarding the soaking liquid.
  2. Make the tart crust by placing all ingredients into a food processor or high-speed blender and pulse together, until you have a thick, sticky mixture.
  3. Line a muffin tin with plastic wrap and evenly distribute the crust mixture into 4 muffin cups. Use wet hands or additional plastic wrap, to press the crust mixture into the bottom and sides of the muffin tin to create a little bowl shape.
  4. Keep the prepared muffin tin in the fridge until you make the filling.
  5. To make the mint chocolate filling, place the drained cashews, maple syrup, cacao powder and peppermint extract into a food processor or high-speed blender and puree until completely smooth. Start with ½ tsp of peppermint extract and taste. Add more if you like a stronger taste. The mixture should be thick but spreadable. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach this consistency.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  7. to serve, sprinkle with a good-quality salt (like Maldon) and additional chopped walnuts.
Notes
These tarts will last in the fridge for at least a week, and longer in the freezer.

Enjoy these Mint Chocolate Mini Pies!

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Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews

Does the state of your fridge dictate what you’re going to have for dinner? We generally like to eat up most things in there before filling it again, so if there’s something in there that needs using up ASAP, there’s a good chance we’ll be cobbling together a meal out of it. Our fridge is usually filled with a stock-pile of veggies, so you can guarantee that the “something that needs using up” is either the root veggies that are getting soft, or the peppers that are losing their lustre. In this case, it was the small age spots on the cauliflower.

Instead of roasting the veggies, like we do 9 times out of 10 (we’re often not that imaginative during the week), we decided to do something completely different. And our cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews was born!

A few years ago, we went through a phase of making cauliflower rice. It’s full of fibre and low on the carbs, if you’re wanting to cut down on the standard starchy rice. Then the price of cauliflower increased to an absurdly high amount ($8 a head?!), so we stopped buying it.

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Fast forward a year or so, the price has come back down, and I get all over excited and buy 2 large heads because it’s so cheap! This meal is the product of Jonty’s idea and execution. I had a quick search for what’s in a standard rice pilaf, and then winged it from there.

This is a super easy, really flavourful side dish, that we will totally make again. We ate the cauliflower rice pilaf with homemade fish tacos, instead of usual coleslaw. Yup, this meal was totally out of left field, but it ended up being really tasty!

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For our version of cauliflower rice pilaf, we added diced onion, carrot and red pepper. A healthy dash of turmeric and a handful of chopped cilantro really make the colours of this dish pop, and add a great flavour too. Because cauliflower is mainly water, you don’t need to add much additional liquid to cook the rice. We dissolved a bit vegetable bouillon paste in a bit of water, and used that to add more flavour to the meal.

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If you’re looking for a new way to use up that gigantic head of cauliflower in your pantry, give this cauliflower rice pilaf a try. It’s an easy, flavourful and healthy side-dish that is quick to make on a weeknight (just take a look at the nutritional power of this meal!). It’s fantastic on its own, or wrapped into a taco with fish or chicken or tofu – ah, the options are endless 🙂

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Roughly chop them once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews
 
Author: 
Cauliflower Rice Pilaf with Turmeric and Toasted Cashews Recipe Type : Dinner Author: Moira Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 25 mins Total time: 35 mins Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large head cauliflower (~650 g), chopped into florets and processed into rice
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 medium carrot, diced
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2.5 cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and diced
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium chicken or veggie bouillon
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup cashews, toasted and roughly chopped
  • ½ lime, zest plus juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add to a food processor, fitted with the S-blade. Pulse until the florets turn into small rice-sized pieces.
  2. Heat a bit of oil in a large skillet, over medium heat, and add the diced onion and carrot. Saute until softened, about 3 to 4 minutes, then add the diced mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add the red chili flakes and turmeric and stir to thoroughly coat the vegetables. Let the mixture cook until the spices become fragrant. Add the vegetable or chicken broth and deglaze the pan.
  4. Add the cauliflower rice and stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let simmer, uncovered, until the liquid has evaporated, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you desire.
  5. Remove from the heat and add the chopped cilantro and lime juice and zest. Cover and allow to steam until ready to eat.
  6. At this point, toast the cashews in a hot skillet or under the broiler until the nuts become fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Chop them roughly once they are cool enough to handle. Sprinkle the cashews over the cauliflower rice pilaf when ready to serve.

Enjoy this cauliflower rice pilaf with turmeric and toasted cashews!

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Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars

When I have a bit of down time in the evenings or on the weekend, I like to make batches of snacks that we can keep in the freezer for hunger-emergencies. These Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars are one of our current favourites.

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We’ve started our climbing strength-training phase again recently. This means a lot of finger-strength training on the hangboard as well as lots of general strength training at the fitness gym (core, pull-ups, squats, plyometric stuff) and general strength training in the van (lifting ceiling panels, hanging cabinets ;)).

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On the days that we hangboard train, we start at the climbing gym to warm up the fingers with 20 to 30 minutes of continuous climbing. We warm up each finger position we will be training afterwards (4-finger half-crimps down to 1-finger hangs) and use this time to work on our movement and general technique. Then, it’s a 25 minute trundle back home to finish up using our hangboard.

During our drive home, it’s often nice to have a little nibble of something to tie us over until all the training is done and we can sit down for dinner. Portable snacks like these cherry chocolate protein bars are often just what we’re looking for. They’re really tasty and give us a great boost of energy.

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There are a few great things about these cherry chocolate protein bars:

  • There is no need for an oven – just an hour or so in the fridge, to firm up.
  • They handle substitutions easily – add your favourite combination of nuts / seeds / dried fruit.
  • They freeze really well – making them a great snack to last you a few weeks.
  • There’s no added sugar, just the sweetness from the maple syrup and dates.
  • They just taste good!!

If you’re in the market for a great snack, give these bars a try. They’re vegan (if you swing that way), gluten-free (make sure to use gluten-free oats), kid-friendly (swap in almond butter, if you’re peanut-sensitive) and fitness friendly (a great source of good carbs and protein). There’s also no added sugar – just the natural sweetness from the dates and maple syrup.

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Hopefully you’ll find these bars as useful to have around the house as we do!

Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Adapted from the Power Hungry cookbook.
Ingredients
  • 150 g (1 cup) pitted Medjool dates (about 10 big dates)
  • 1 cup of warm water, to soak the dates
  • 115 g (1 cup) large-flake oats
  • 60 g (1½ cup) crispy brown rice cereal
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 30 g (1/4 cup) dried unsweetened cherries
  • 15 g (2 tbsp) ground flax seeds
  • 120 g (1/2 cup) natural peanut butter
  • 105 g (1/3 cup) pure maple syrup
  • 50 g (1/4 cup) dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Soak the pitted Medjool dates in 1 cup of warm water, until they have softened. This could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes, depending on how soft your dates are to start.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, brown rice cereal, walnuts, dried cherries and flax seeds.
  3. Drain the Medjool dates and use a food processor or high-speed blender to process until they are finely chopped. Add them to the oat mixture.
  4. In a small sauce pan, combine the peanut butter and maple syrup and bring to a soft boil over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the oat mix and stir until all ingredients are completely combined. This may take quite a few stirs. Add in the chocolate chips and stir until they are incorporated.
  6. Line a 9x9-inch pan with parchment paper and spoon the mixture into the pan. Press the oat mixture firmly into the pan and smooth the top with the back of a spatula.
  7. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, until the bars have set and are firm to the touch.
  8. Use the parchment paper to lift the bars out of the pan and cut into bars.
Notes
These bars freeze very well. Cut the bars first, then wrap in saran wrap before placing them into a freezer bag.

Enjoy these Cherry Chocolate Protein Bars!

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Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Happy Chocolate Day! Otherwise known as Valentine’s Day 🙂 This chocolate mousse recipe is for all the chocolate lovers out there. It’s Jonty’s creation (my chocolate-loving guy) and he’s made it a handful of times over the last few months. It has 4 ingredients, is super simple to make, and is actually pretty healthy for you! Are you ready?

You need egg whites, good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% dark), plain Greek yogurt and a touch of sugar. The resulting dessert is so light and airy, and tastes so unbelievably decadent, yet there’s not a drop of cream to be found.

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The first time Jonty made it, we thought it might have been a fluke result, mainly because we were wary about using non-fat Greek yogurt (sometimes things just taste better with fat and cream). But each time he’s made it, the result has been the same – an easy, superstar chocolate mousse!

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Jonty has developed this chocolate mousse using basic ratios:

  • 1 part egg white
  • 1 part dark chocolate
  • 1 part Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 part sugar

So 1 egg white will give you 1 ramekin dessert. If you want turn this into a romantic dessert for two, just use 2 egg whites and scale. You want to turn this into a family dessert for four? Use 4 egg whites and scale. So easy!

This is going to a short and sweet, because the sun is shining, and we’re severely lacking in Vitamin D! So, we hope you’re having a great Chocolate Day, celebrating any way you’d like 🙂

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ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

 

ClimbEatCycleRepeat.com | Easy No-Bake Chocolate Mousse

Happy Valentines Day, Galentines Day, Family Day or general Chocolate Day 🙂

Easy Chocolate Mousse
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
This almost-raw chocolate mousse is an easy, healthy dessert that will wow all your guests!
Ingredients
  • 2 egg whites (60g)
  • 30 g granulated sugar
  • 60 g good-quality dark chocolate (at least 70% or higher)
  • 60 g non-fat Greek yogurt
Instructions
  1. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until they start to form peaks. While whisking, slowly add the sugar, one spoonful at a time, until it is all incorporated. Continue to whisk the mixture until stiff peaks have formed.
  2. Meanwhile, melt your chocolate. You can either do this in the microwave on the lowest heat setting, or over a bowl of hot water. Once the chocolate is melted, stir in the Greek yogurt.
  3. Fold the egg white mixture into the chocolate mixture and fold to combine.
  4. Spoon the mousse into 2 ramekins and refrigerate at least 30 minutes, or until the mousse has set.

Enjoy this easy chocolate mousse!

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