I'm determined to avoid all the colds and flu I can this winter so from the beginning of the week I've been trying to build up our immune systems, food-wise, as much as possible.
To begin with I've got the old Jack Lalanne power-juicer out again. It's amazing the way it just chomps up whole apples, skin, pips and all and rewards you with the most delicious apple juice you've ever had.....that is of course if the apples are delicious....and no, I'm not on commission. It definitely is one of the best kitchen tools we've ever bought.
A glass of carrot and apple juice using a Gala or Jazz apple and a bunch of carrots is just like a glass of nectar in the morning. Carrot juice doesn't sound very appetising but it is. It's sweet and refreshing and just rolls down your throat....mmmm.....
But as with most good things there are a couple of downsides too. One is the cleaning of the juicer which is a pain. You can put the components in a dishwasher. But not if they are covered with carrot pulp and fibre, which they are after making carrot juice.
Another is the voluminous amounts of grated carrot produced. I can only add so much to soups and stews and casseroles. One alternative is carrot cake, so I made up a batch of those.
I adapted a Mary Berry cake recipe, changed the ingredients a little and made muffins. As you've guessed it's an all-in-one recipe.
You will need:
80z of Self Raising flour
1 teaspoons of baking powder ( you can read how to make your own aluminium free baking powder here.
5oz of light muscovado sugar
2oz of chopped walnuts
15 fl oz olive, ground nut oil or alternative
The zest and juice of half an orange.
9oz of mascarpone cheese
2-3 teaspoons of vanilla extract or the juice of half an orange.
2 tablespoons icing sugar.
Simply combine all the ingredients together, mixing well for a few minutes until they are all combined well. Then place spoonfuls into paper cupcake cases on a baking tray.
Bake at 180 degrees c for about 15 to 29 minutes depending on the size of the cupcakes. Check after the first ten minutes or so. When ready an inserted skewer should come out clean.
I kept some plain for breakfast but for a treat they are yummy with the marscapone cheese topping.
NB These can be made with gluten free flour or a combination of wheat or gluten free flour and ground almonds to make an even moister batter.