Candid Candice: Lemon & blackberry drizzle loaf

 

We love walking our dog, Dennis, and where we live we are lucky enough to have lots of fresh brambles growing. So come autumn we take a bag with us on walks and collect brambles. (We don’t pick the ones that are close to the ground!) Adding them whole to this loaf means you get a burst of blackberry juice when you take a bite – tart but sweet perfection.

SERVES 8–10

115g self-raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

115g unsalted butter, softened

165g golden caster sugar

2 medium eggs

3 lemons

1 tsp fresh lemon thyme leaves

150g blackberries

TO FINISH

about 50g icing sugar

10 blackberries

shreds of lemon zest

fresh lemon thyme sprigs

● Preheat the oven to 160C fan (180C/350F/Gas Mark 4). Grease a 450g (1lb) loaf tin and line with greaseproof paper.

● Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and add the soft butter and 115g of the caster sugar, along with the eggs. Grate the zest from two of the lemons into the bowl. Squeeze the juice from half of the third lemon and add along with the lemon thyme leaves. Beat with an electric mixer just until smooth and light (take care not to over mix). Fold in the blackberries.

● Pour the mixture into the tin. Bake for 45–50 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean (avoid skewering a blackberry). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly while you make the syrup.

● Squeeze the juice from the two lemons you zested and pour into a small saucepan. Add the remaining 50g caster sugar. Set over a medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved to make a syrup. Turn the heat up slightly and let the syrup bubble away for a couple of minutes.

● Using a skewer, poke holes all over the top of the still-warm cake, then slowly pour the lemon syrup all over the surface so it penetrates right through the sponge. Leave to cool fully.

● Squeeze the juice from the remaining lemon half into a small bowl and stir in enough icing sugar to make a smooth, runny icing. Once the loaf is cold, drizzle over the icing and top with fresh blackberries, shreds of lemon zest and tiny picked sprigs of lemon thyme.

 

7 Healthy Foods That Cost Under $1

It’s a common complaint: Healthy food is so expensive. While there’s no question you can spend a ton on good-for-you fare, the fact is, there are plenty of ways to save a bundle and still eat like a champ. Here are seven delicious and nutritious foods you can enjoy for less than a buck per serving.

Peanut butter

Gold ol’ PB has taken a backseat in recent years to more glamorous spreads made from almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, and more. And while variety is great, classic peanut butter is hard to beat when it comes to inexpensive-yet-nutritious foods. Sixteen-ounce jars run from around $2.50 to $6 and beyond, with organic and flavored varieties at the pricier end of the spectrum. But even at $6 per jar, one serving (2 Tbsp.) is only about 43¢—and you get around 8g protein, healthy fats, fiber, and great flavor. Slather it on a sandwich or sliced apples or bananas; whirl it into a smoothie; bake with it; or whisk it with tamari, garlic, and ginger for a tangy dipping sauce.

Frozen chopped organic spinach

Frozen vegetables are a great option for money-saving: They’re less expensive than fresh, and since you only use what you need, there’s no waste. I like spinach in particular because of its versatility. Toss a handful into a skillet for an egg scramble, or add it to soup, mix into meatballs, whirl it into a dip, or blitz it into a smoothie. It can be a prominent ingredient (as in a spanakopita) or it can disappear into brownies. A 16-oz. bag of the Whole Foods 365 brand contains six 1-cup servings and costs $1.99, which works out to 31¢ per serving.

RELATED: 12 Foods You Need to Stop Buying—and 17 You Should Eat More

Eggs

Eggs are another versatile food packed with nutrients. They’re readily available, easy to make into zillions of dishes, and a great source of protein, vitamin D (which is hard to find in food), choline, B vitamins, and selenium. You can find them for as little as $1.50 a dozen. And you can get organic eggs for $6 per dozen, which is only 50¢ per egg.

BeansImage result for 7 Healthy Foods That Cost Under $1

Talk about a great deal. Dried beans are cheapest—for a buck you can get a pound, which will yield you around 5 cups of cooked beans. But they require some planning, as they need to be soaked for a few hours and then cooked (unless you use a pressure cooker, in which case you can do it in less than an hour, even without soaking). But if you prefer the convenience of canned beans, you’re still looking at a pocket-change investment. A 15- to 15.5-oz. runs between $1.10 and around $2.50 (for organic), which works out to between 31¢ and 71¢ per ½-cup serving. Whirl them into dips, toss into salads, or mash with vegetables and grain and turn them into veggie burgers.

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Cabbage

One of the healthiest, most readily available, and most versatile vegetables in the produce section also happens to be one of the cheapest. A humble head of green cabbage, which costs around $2, yields about 5 cups, or 10 servings (5 servings if you cook it). So for 20¢, you get not only nearly half of your day’s vitamin C, but also nearly your full day’s vitamin K, plus folate and fiber. Cabbage is also a good source of prebiotics, carbohydrates that are non-digestible in the body but that feed good gut bacteria. Shred it and turn it into a simple slaw, or use the leaves as sandwich wraps in place of bread. You can also transform cabbage into a fast, healthy side dish by chopping and sautéing in a bit of butter until tender and turning golden in parts; then season lightly with salt and pepper. Red cabbage, at about $3 per head, is also a steal, and has all of the same benefits of its green cousin, plus it’s also loaded with vitamin A and phytonutrients.

Lentils

These small-but-mighty legumes are a superfood, loaded with protein, fiber, iron, B vitamins, and folate. A pound of dried lentils, which costs about a dollar, contains about 2 ½ cups, which works out to about eight or nine ½-cup servings cooked (at 8 servings, that’s about 13¢ a serving). Lentils make excellent dips, salads, spreads, soups, sauces, and more.

Oats

It’s hard to find a more comforting, familiar staple than oats—though in recent years, they’ve been overshadowed by fancier grains (that’s you, farro, quinoaand spelt). Time to give them a fresh look: Not only are they able to magically transform into many different dishes suitable for any time of day, they’re also amazingly inexpensive. An 18-oz. can of old-fashioned rolled oats, which has thirteen ½-cup servings, costs around $3, which calculates to 23¢ per serving. Of course you can have it for breakfast, made the traditional way, prepped in advance for grab-and-go overnight oats, baked into squares or whirled into a smoothie. But oats also work well as a binder for meatballs or meatloaf, and as a savory side dish or the base for a grain bowl.

 

Is Teff The New Superfood?

Health food junkies, we’ve got your newest fix. Give the quinoa a break, let kale take a rest, and give teff a chance. If you’re a regular at the health food store, you’ve definitely seen teff around — if not in its tiny grain form than at least ground as a flour. If you were brave enough to venture into the unknown, you gave it a try. And if you knew what you were doing with this super grain, you quickly discovered your newest favorite health food.

Teff is a tiny grain that is the national pride of Ethiopia. While it’s been consumed there for thousands of years — we’re talking way back BC — it’s starting to get some global attention, and this is good news for all of us. Teff is a durable crop that can grow in almost any climate, and that same flexible characteristic holds true in the kitchen, too. As a bonus, teff boasts a ton of good-for-you nutrition. It’s one of those win-win foods. Now, we don’t want you to drop all of your other favorite health foods and just eat teff until the next big superfood comes along, but we do think it’s worth a try. Here’s why: