On The Go

Courgette & Yogurt Loaves: a Recipe for The Yogurt Council

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A few weeks ago, something quite exciting happened. I won a competition! Love Yogurt were looking for an official “Yogurt Stylist” to work with them on a few recipes as part of Yogurt Week. It was easy to enter – just upload a pic of your favourite recipe including yogurt for a chance to win. I did that, and after being shortlisted due to my Instagram likes (big thanks to all of you for following and liking my pictures – I really appreciate it), my shot was plucked from the other nine finalists by a couple of expert judges: Jo Sweetman, top nutritionist and advisor to many of the UK’s biggest food brands, and Karen Burns-Booth – food writer, blogger, recipe developer and food stylist extrordinaire who runs Lavender and Lovage.

I like courgette bread. I’ve been making it a lot over the past year or so, so my recipe for the competition was easy to come up with. It’s a much more nutritious way to consume baked goods than a sandwich loaf or a cupcake, it tastes really good, and the vegetable content means it stays moist too. I’ve tried it lots of different ways, but this recipe is the one I’ve settled on. The pecans and sunflower seeds give it an extra bit of bite and the spices provide a subtle warmth. In baking, I think yogurt really comes into its own. I use it a lot in place of buttermilk in recipes – since that isn’t easily obtainable here in the UK. Yogurt adds a tangy freshness and makes for a really soft, light crumb. What I like most about these loaves is the way they rise – giving you that perfect, golden dome bakers everywhere long for.

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The image above is the competition winner. I chose to keep things simple and according to feedback, that’s why the judges chose me. They liked that the recipe was clear and achievable for even novice bakers, and that my photos were styled in a clean and honest way. The recipe is simple – completed in little over 30 minutes, and the loaves will last for around five days in a sealed container.

Courgette & Yogurt Loaves (makes 6 small loaves)

nb. If you don’t have small loaf tins you can use one large loaf tin and enjoy in slices, or you can split the mix into 12 and use a muffin tin for smaller, snackable bites.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes

120g plain flour
120g wholemeal flour
140g courgette, grated
2 large eggs
125ml natural yoghurt
100ml vegetable oil
30g pecans, chopped
20g sunflower seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C.

2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl, together with the vegetable oil, yogurt and vanilla.

3. Drop in the grated courgette and set aside.

4. In another large bowl, combine all dry ingredients except the pecans and sunflower 
seeds.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture about a quarter at a time until a batter forms.

6. Fold in the chopped pecans and sunflower seeds.

7. Grease your loaf tins and divide the batter between them.

8. Place in the oven and bake for 18-22 minutes, until the loaves are golden brown.

9. Leave to cool and enjoy plain or spread with butter.

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I’m pretty chuffed with my win. I’ve been putting a lot of work into my styling and photography over the past few months – trying to post quality over quantity, with really top notch images. That’s mainly because those are the type of posts I enjoy reading on other blogs. It’s nice to get confirmation that it’s paying off! I’ve had a lot of feedback recently from you guys, telling me that you like my photos and I really appreciate it – thank you. Hopefully I can keep improving.

As for the prizes, I won £1000 prize money (!!) which I intend to plunge right back into the blog. I’ve bought a new 50mm camera lens so I can capture higher quality images, and I’ve invested in some cooking equipment to bring some more diverse recipes to Whip Until Fluffy. Those of you who know me will know that my ambition is to integrate food styling into my day job, so this is a real boost to morale and a very welcome surge of funds. I also won a trip to the South of France to take part in an edible food styling masterclass with Karen of Lavender and Lovage at her home there. I’ve just had the date confirmed and I’m so excited to be going – I can’t wait to pick up new skills, travel and take advantage of a fantastic opportunity to do the thing that I love with someone I can learn a lot from. On top of those prizes, I now hold the title of Official Yogurt Stylist for 2014, which means I am working with The Yogurt Council to come up with more recipes to really show how versatile and tasty yogurt can be.

Want to take a look at my competition? Browse the #YogurtStylist tag on Instagram to see what I was up against – the competition was stiff #humblebrag. Runners up include @me_and_orla who runs the beautiful Me and Orla blog, @kateveggiedesserts who makes amazing cakes and sweet dishes from all kinds of veg at Veggie Desserts, @sylviahappiness who writes at Happiness is Homemade, and @eat_your_veg who caters for the little ones over at Eat Your Veg. All gorgeous entries well deserving of the prize – it’s genuinely such a pleasure for me to be counted side by side with them.

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I’ll be reporting back on my adventures over the summer as well as sharing the links to the recipes that I write for The Yogurt Council, so you can look forward to lots of content from me over the coming months. And in conclusion, thank you. For reading, commenting, liking and sharing. I really appreciate every single person who reads my blog and I value your feedback, so drop me a note down in the comments or over on Twitter @whipuntilfluffy to say hi. Follow The Yogurt Council over at @LoveYogurtUK on Twitter and @LoveYogurtUK on Instagram.

You can now also Like my page over on Facebook if you fancy it – find me at Whip Until Fluffy.

Overnight Oats: 2 Ways

Overnight Oats

Let’s start from the beginning. I never thought I’d be an oats for breakfast kind of a gal. My dad tried relentlessly for years, but porridge was never really for me. There was always something about the warmth of it, mixed with a weird, wallpaper-paste texture I just couldn’t stomach. And, of course, my parents didn’t believe in adding sweetness to anything when I was a kid, so bowls of soggy oats were always just that… soggy oats. Now I’m a grown up and I can mix fruit, honey, jam, goshdarnit even chocolate, into my oats, I thought I’d give them another go.

So, at the start of this month I resolved to take breakfast into work with me. I’m a terrible breakfast-dodger. And when I do it, let’s be honest, it’s usually pastry. In a bid to banish hunger and to eat less for lunch and throughout the day in general. I started filling the new Ball Quilted Jars I got for Christmas with natural yoghurt, a small layer of rolled oats and then topping them with some frozen berries. It seemed healthy and cost effective, best of all it tasted nice! After a few days I started toying with the idea of tarting it up a bit, and having read what seems like 101 recipes for overnight oats, I rustled some up one night. The rest is history.

Real talk: these oats take less than five minutes, they sit in the fridge overnight and you can just grab em on your way out of the door. Great for eating at your desk, or hell, even on the bus. They mostly contain ingredients that don’t need to be fresh (I use frozen fruit, generally) so you don’t even need to be that organised. They can be varied in so many ways you’ll likely never get bored. If you’re not great at diary, switch for almond milk. Guys, there is literally no excuse. Never is a day without breakfast to be seen again! Plus, get yourself some jars and COME ON your breakfast has never looked so cute. Totes adorbs. Get decent quality (the kind with lids that seal, Kilner will do nicely) and you can cart them around willy-nilly. Not a spill in sight! And if jars aren’t your thing, no biggie, tupperware will be fine. Just pick something that seals tightly.

NB I am by no means the inventor of these recipes. These are simply my favourites, tweaked from the hundreds on Pinterest; the ones I’ve been turning to again and again throughout January. Give them a go! Make sure you report back on what you think. Got a recipe you love? Share it!

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Raspberry Coconut Overnight Oats – this one is fruity, almost tropical. A nice change from the creaminess of regular milk. I find it to be an energising and fresh way to start my morning.

1/2 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
1/4 Cup Berries (I use frozen mixed berries, but you can use fresh)
1 Tsp Light Brown Sugar

1. Go ahead and pop your oats in the jar. Place the berries on top. Sprinkle your brown sugar on top of them. You could also use honey in place of the sugar – one large squidge from a squeezy bottle should do it.

2. Pour your milk on top of your layered ingredients. Half a cup or to the top of your jar, whatever comes first. It’s worth taking this slowly, wait for the milk to soak through for a few seconds, those guys are absorbent!

3. Screw your lid on tightly. Give it a shake. If you use frozen berries your milk will turn pink – pretty! Pop it in the fridge and don’t come back until morning.

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Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats – great for those cold mornings, the spice adds something comforting. You can also warm this one up if you fancied!

1/3 Cup Rolled Oats
1/2 Banana, mashed
1/2 Apple, diced
1/2 Cup Milk
1 Tbsp Ground Almonds
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon

1. Pop your oats in. Pile on the mashed banana, this gives the oats a lovely silky feel. Chuck in the ground almonds and cinnamon and stir it up.

2. Throw in your diced apple and then top with milk. Screw the lid on tight and shake it up.

3. Pop it in the fridge. When you serve up, sprinkle a little cinnamon on the top. Yum!

Overnight Oats