We’re so excited to announce our brand new resident food contributor – Katie Bishop.

Katie won the Young Cook of Britain competition at the tender age of 14!  She travelled the world working as a chef and cemented her dream of becoming a professional food writer.

“It is not uncommon for me to be thinking about what I’m going to eat for supper while I’m still eating my lunch.”

She has now been a freelance food writer, editor, stylist and consultant for 20 years.  She works with magazines and publishers, writing books and editorial features, as well as making food look beautiful for photos. She also works in advertising and film, presents cookery demonstrations and appears on TV and radio.

We’re incredibly fortunate to have her contribute to our lifestyle magazine here at jotuffrey.com

Today – she introduces us to Banana, apple & honey flapjacks …

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Overview

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Time to cook: 60 minutes
This recipe makes: 16 flapjacks

If you’re trying to sneak some extra fruit in to your diet (or that of your children) without feeling too hard done by, then this recipe is for you. It’s an extremely easy and quick bake that will satisfy sweet cravings, without any added sugar – just honey. They’re flour-free too!

The banana and apple elements increase your fruit intake, whilst helping to bring the mixture together. The benefit being that you don’t need so much butter or sugar.

Feel free to mix it up a little – use what you can find in the cupboard! Dried apricots, cherries, cranberries, raisins or mixed dried fruit all work well. Poppy seeds are always a good addition to bakes and some chia would taste good too.

Katie says that you can use over-ripe bananas and apples – there’s nothing worse than food waste – this will help keep it down.

It’s good to experiment – try adding some finely grated orange or lemon zest to the mixture, before baking.

You can of course turn this into something slightly less healthy – by drizzling melted chocolate (white, milk or dark) over the top – we’ll let you decide on that.

So – let’s take a look at how to get these done!

Ingredients

50g butter, plus extra for greasing the tin
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
3 tbsp honey
2 bananas
2 small eating apples
250g porridge oats
100g prunes
75g currants or raisins
75g mixed seeds (eg. pumpkin, sunflower, sesame & linseeds)

Let’s get cooking …

  1. Preheat the oven to 160˚C, gas mark 3 and grease a 20cm square tin.
  2. Melt the butter, peanut butter and honey into a small saucepan over a low heat. Stir the ingredients to combine.
  3. Whilst simmering, mash the banana and coarsely grate the unpeeled apple into a bowl (don’t worry about removing the core in advance, just grate around it).
  4. Mix the fruit into the melted butter mixture. Add 100ml hot water and stir.
  5. Add the oats to a large bowl. Add the prunes – snipping them up using scissors, to make pieces about the size of a plump raisin.
  6. Next, add the currants and seeds.
  7. Finally, mix in the banana mixture until everything is well coated. Simple so far?!
  8. It’s time to get baking next. Tip into the prepared tin and spread out to level the surface. Bake for 55 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Leave to cool in the tin for at least 2 hours, before turning out and cutting into squares. Enjoy with tea or coffee!

More about Katie

Katie will be back next month with something else delicious to try.

In the meantime, you can find out more about her at http://katiebishop.co.uk or follow her on Instagram at @ktbishopcooks

Jo loves coffee – you’ll hear her talking about it during her workouts regularly.

Recently, she was approached by Alex Higham, the founder of Exhale Coffee. Alex is an expert in the chemical composition of coffee and has conducted all kinds of experiments with labs to test the various properties of his coffee blend as well as others.

Imagine a coffee with health benefits in the same league as fresh fruit and vegetables? Well that’s what Alex and his team have been researching and developing for the last 2 years and Jo wanted to find out more.

She spent some time on Zoom with Alex recently and we’ve put together this amazing interview. If you think you know about the properties of coffee and how important it is in our lives – then think again!

As a taster, did you know that 1 cup of exhale coffee has the same antioxidant power as 12 punnets of blueberries, 55 oranges or 1.2kg of kale!

Find out more in this interview between Jo and Alex …

Enjoy the full interview below – or have a read of some of the highlights below …

 

The health benefits of drinking coffee

Alex Higham: Coffee is a fruit – coffee grows on trees and coffee starts its life as a cherry  So a coffee bean, isn’t a bean at all  It’s a seed. So coffee is a fruit!

Jo Tuffrey:  Actually, I’ve never really thought where coffee comes from!

Alex Higham:  It’s seen as this lifeless brown bean that makes this kind of black coffee, but all I’m trying to say is, look, coffee is a fruit  – coffee comes from fruit!

Jo Tuffrey:  Introduce yourself and say who you are ….!

Alex Higham:  Yes, I’m Alex. The company is called Exhale Coffee and we launched around six months ago in lockdown after a good two or three years of researching, developing and building the idea for the business  It’s been a long journey, but basically over the last few years, I have been reading more and more about the science around coffee.

More and more, the studies are pointing towards coffee as being a superfood with lots of different health benefits. So it’s potentially been associated with the reduced risk of all sorts of different diseases.

Coffee is one of the most drunk beverages in the world. It’s also one of the most studied. In the last 10 years, there has been over 8,000 studies on coffee  and its implications on health alone. Because it’s so wildly drunk, people are really interested in how it affects your health.

Jo Tuffrey:  So what are the benefits then of drinking coffee?

Alex Higham:  There’s been all of these studies over many decades. The studies have moved from observational studies, where they look for associations between drinking coffee and different diseases, and  looking at the kinds of mechanisms of the action of drinking coffee could be having in the body, which could be causing these benefits.

How often should you have a cup of coffee?

Jo Tuffrey: Would you advocate drinking your coffee all through the day or whenever suits the person?

Alex Higham:  I would advocate drinking coffee all day long, right up until bedtime, but to choose a decaf after a certain time of the day. And it depends on your own personal gene …

So you have a gene which dictates how fast you are breaking down the coffee and caffeine and another gene which dictates how fast you are absorbing the caffeine. So it’s your combination of those two genes, which dictates how long the caffeine will have an effect in your body.

I’m actually a really slow caffeine metabolizer. So if I have a coffee after about lunchtime, I can’t sleep at night, whereas other people can. The fast metabolizers of caffeine can have a coffee just before bed and they’ll burn off the caffeine and then they’ll sleep.

However, decaf really does have a lot of benefits as well. So  in the afternoon I switched to decaf and then recently have started having a decaf before bed because there’s a whole load of benefits around fasting.

Does coffee help with pilates and fitness?

Jo Tuffrey: Will we be able to do more planks?! Will we be able to do more curl ups? Is it shown to enhance performance?

Alex Higham: Oh, definitely. I mean, caffeine in particular is one of  the few proven ergogenic cases for sport.

Up until the early nineties, coffee was banned by the world anti-doping association, but then it made it legal more recently. The studies show that if you drink quite a lot of coffee, (between three and six milligrams of caffeine per kilo of body weight), which is probably about the equivalent of two double espressos – that’s where you would get the real benefit.

Jo Tuffrey: I don’t think my clients would allow me to have that!

Alex Higham: No, exactly. But if they do there’s two separate meta analyses, which show that caffeine increases exercise performance by 11 to 12% on average.

How do you make the ultimate cup of coffee?

Jo Tuffrey:  Now I’ve heard that you shouldn’t pour boiling water onto coffee. Should you do that or not?

Alex Higham: No! So if you add boiling water to the coffee it can scold the beans and it can over extract some of the bitter flavour compounds in the coffee.

So the advice we give is to boil the kettle …  leave it 30 seconds off the boil and then pour it!

However – you don’t want to let it cool too much because the extraction of all of the compounds and the healthy compounds, the good stuff from coffee is a chemical reaction. Chemical reactions are all sped up by hotter temperatures. It’s standard law of chemistry. The hotter, the temperature during the reaction, the faster it will take place.

If you let the water cool too much, then it’s not going to be hot enough to extract the healthy compounds. So you want to let it cool just off the boil, but not too much.

Find out more about Exhale Coffee

Visit Alex’s business at https://exhalecoffee.com/