If you grew up in Malta, chances are that, like me, you have fond memories of a messy flour-covered little you, trying to help your family, be it your mum, dad, uncle, aunt, granny, with the mass-making of figolli. I remember myself, ambling around the kitchen, sheer excitement visible on my face, naively feeling my presence was completely significant because...how else could have auntie sprinkled flour with one hand and held the dough with the other? And who could've possibly fetched mum her apron if everyone else had their hands knuckles-deep in squishy dough?
Ever since I was young I've LOVED my mum's pudina. It's a traditional Maltese dessert which is basically a baked bread pudding. I used to adore it. I do, however, remember my little self pondering on how something that looks so disgusting could actually taste so good. But neither my mum nor I have ever even contemplated on attempting to make this tasty dessert look more appetizing. We never really felt the need to. That is, however, until I decided I wanted it as my wedding cake...
At the moment, I'm so busy that I had to take a break from my culinary experiments. Unfortunately this is the last recipe I'll be posting for a while. You see, I'm getting married next month and since I chose to have a DIY wedding (they actually had to convince me against the idea of self-catering, LUCKILY), something's gotta give. And by 'something' I mean anything that is not wedding-related.
I felt that this powerful smoothie was fit to say "See you!" or "Mata aimasyou" (I'm learning Japanese as a break from wedding planning. Yes, yes, I have been called crazy a good number of times by my future husband.)
I have to say that my favourite superfood is spirulina, but sometimes, when I'm looking for something that's not too hard on my taste buds, I
opt for wheatgrass powder in my smoothies. There are several reasons why one should try to include wheatgrass in his/her diet. First of all, it's one of the best sources of chlorophyll available today.
I love the combination of chocolate and orange. And if there's hemp involved, then, what is there not to love?
Hemp repairs muscles, is packed with protein, and is powerful against cancer. I try to include it in my diet as much as possible. It has a nutty flavour and is incredibly versatile.
You can add the seeds to your bowl of cereal, fruit, salad, stir-fry, anything you can think of really, both sweet and savoury. You can experiment as much as you want.
Whenever I make a smoothie, I normally throw a tablespoon of hemp in with the rest of the ingredients, whatever they happen to be.
Shh... I know, I know, the title is lame, but I couldn't help myself. It is, however, rather accurate. Maca is, in fact, quite a magical root. It is one of my favourite 'superfoods', and has such a distinct taste that it can turn any bland drink into an incredibly flavourful one.
Maca is grown in the mountains of Peru, and you'll most probably find it in powder form. Its benefits have long been known and valued, but, like everthing else, it shouldn't be consumed in large amounts. One tablespoon of maca powder is considered as the average daily recommended dose.
It has a 'malted' taste, which kind of reminds me of my Horlicks childhood nights. In fact I love to mix in one teaspoon of the powder with a mug of hot water, for nostalgia's sake.
This is more of an idea, rather than a recipe. It's a very simple, basic, 3-ingredient breakfast option which I ended up making a couple of weeks ago when I woke up half an hour late - fault being watching back to back episodes of 'Louie' whilst laughing my head off at 1am. I had no time to think about what I was going to prepare. Had no time to actually prepare anything really. But since I use chia seeds every morning, I thought I should start off with those, throw in an apple to sweeten things up, and ... basically ... just stop there - that's all the time I had. I know chia seeds are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and protein, and that was all that mattered.
In Malta, strangely and irritatingly enough , the transition to summer heat, always comes as a surprise. No one is ever really prepared. One day you're wearing a jacket and thermal socks and the next morning you're rummaging around for your flip flops. One night you're sleeping under a quilt; the next, you're trying to jam it into a cupboard somewhere because even the sight of it sends trickles of sweat running down your forehead, and you're pulling up your dust-covered fan from storage. This is where a tasty, refreshing smoothie such as this one comes in handy.
I've been postponing writing this recipe for over a week now. I think I can safely say that wedding planning has taken over my life. Luckily, planning and organising are actually hobbies of mine. So at least, I don't think I'll be losing my sanity any time soon.
This is one breakfast meal I concocted during said busy planning time. Admittedly, it does require a certain amount of preparation time, but it's very easy and it's wonderfully versatile. In fact it can serve as a foundation for your buckwheat porridge adventures. You can go crazy with this. PLUS, any leftover porridge (even though it sounds ludicrous, I have seen it happen; buckwheat is a complete protein thus very filling) can be scooped up in spoonfuls and frozen for a quick cool snack.
Since that wonderful morning back when I first made these muffins, not a day has gone by that I didn't wake up craving them (or go to sleep craving them, or crave them come tea-time, or during my work break...okay, you can see where this is going). I first tried making them using blueberries, but after I anxiously waited for them, face in front of oven, and bit off all my fingernails whilst the muffins were cooling on the rack, I knew the moment I had my first bite, that it was of the utmost importance for me to find a substitute for blueberries, as they're quite expensive in Malta. I instantly realised I had finally found my go-to muffin recipe, and I have a feeling (as the name I chose for them suggests) that you can substitute the blueberries with a variety of things and still get great results. I even tried these with chocolate pieces last weekend, and actually enjoyed them even more than the blueberry version. So, go get a pen; you definitely need to save this in your recipe notebook. It's a very easy recipe, and hopefully I've made it even easier for you with the following pictures and explanation. (Scroll further down for the normal recipe format.)