So, this week is my first week back at work and it helps with the anxiousness to be prepared. I’m sharing the five best things in my freezer. Stuff I can give at the drop of a hat. For quick breakfasts, I put in the time a few weeks back and made fruit buns. Lunches I have carrot and courgette flapjacks with cheese and quinoa (I love these as they have carbs, protein, fibre, veg, dairy all in one). For sweet but refined sugar-free snacks, I have pear and cinnamon blondies and baby biscuit dough. Finally, for a quick tea, my easy-freezy fish pie. Five recipes, one post. Ready, steady…
I’ve added the video here for my hot cross buns post. The recipe I used for these is almost the same and you can see how much fun we had making them!
400g bread flour – I use half and half white and wholemeal, 100g plain flour, a pinch of salt, 50g sugar (you could omit completely if you so choose but this makes about 16 buns so its hardly any really), 1 7g sachet of yeast, 40g butter (unsalted), 2 eggs, 120ml warm milk and around the same of water, dried fruit of your choice (I used raisins and cranberries), finally a grated apple.
Firstly, make your dough by adding your yeast, salt, eggs, butter and milk to your flour. gradually add your water until the dough forms a rough ball; you may not need all the water but use most of it! Knead for around 10 minutes either by hand or with a mixer, and leave to prove (covered) for two hours, or until doubled in size. Next, knock your dough back (push all the air out!) and gradually add in your fruit. Divide into 12-16 mini buns and cover with a plastic bag.
Prove for another 30 minutes. Then, bake at 220 fan for 20 minutes.
They did take a while to make – but I made 16 in total and they freeze really well. 16 breakfasts sorted.
Carrot and courgette flapjacks
My instagram friend Libby makes these as a regular. I changed the recipe up slightly to include quinoa. This makes about 30 flapjacks so perfect for a freezer stash!
275g porridge oats, 25g quinoa, 150g cheese, 100g butter, 2 eggs, 200g grated carrot/courgette (I used both), 2 tsp pesto (optional)
Melt the butter in a saucepan and add quinoa. Cook through for 4-5 mins. Add oats, then stir in veg and cheese and pesto if using. Add your eggs to bind, and mix well. Press into a baking tin (your flapjacks should be about 2cm or half an inch thick) Bake at 180 fan for 20 minutes. Cool before cutting into squares.
Baby-led biscuit dough
So my baby-led biscuit post is just here – but I’d thought I’d include it to say that the dough freezes brilliantly. It takes about an hour to defrost. So you could easily take a portion of dough out of the fridge and have biscuits within 20 minutes of being in the kitchen after work.
Pear and cinnamon blondies
These are really squidgy and sweet, but are gluten free and contain no refined sugar.
2 pears, around 10-15 dates (if your pears are small, use 15), 50g coconut flour, 1 egg, 1/4 cup (about 60ml) melted coconut oil – you could also use butter, 1 tsp cinnamon.
Stew the pears and dates in a little water for around 8 minutes, or until soft. Add in your oil (or butter), egg and finally the flour.
Press into a loaf tin and bake at 170 fan for about 20 minutes. The top should be golden but soft to the touch and the mix should be coming away from the edge of the tin.
Cut into slices before freezing. This made about 12 baby sized ones. I’d double the recipe should you want bigger blondies…which you might!
Easy-freezy fish pie
So, I took a picture of the ingredients for this one. There are a few but it is all stuff you will probably have in:
We have: basic roux ingredients (milk, flour and butter), tinned tuna (in water not brine), white fish (I used a frozen basa fillet), nutmeg, and your veg: a potato, a sweet potato, peas and about 25g of squash. Use whatever you want for the topping though – just potato would work just as well.
You need two pans, one to cook your root veg and one to make your sauce. So, while your veg is simmering, make your white sauce by adding flour to a big knob of butter and slowly stirring in your milk. I used about 3/4 pint of milk. Then 1/2tsp nutmeg.
For ease (lets face it; if you are like me you have a nap-time to achieve this) I add the fish straight to the white sauce to cook. The tuna acts as a thickener to the sauce, making it really oozy and the white fish give nice soft chunks. Then all you need to do is add the peas.
Mash your root veg when cooked. Then layer it up to freeze. I like to freeze this in individual pots as they look lovely and it makes life easier. This makes 7-10 pies depending on portion size. Dexter LOVES these fish pies…like loads. I defrost in the fridge and warm in the microwave but you could top with cheese and oven bake should you want to.
So there you have it…the five best things in my freezer. Things we can magic up without it being stressful. Hope it helps!