Saturday, 29 April 2017

Matcha Mojito Mocktail

There's nothing better than a nice cold cocktail when the sun is shining. My favourite being Pimms, Mojito or a G&T. Unfortunately for me over the last few years I've become alcohol intolerant, even the smallest amount has my heart racing and exasperates all my symptoms, making cocktails not so fun anymore. Because of this I've not had any alcohol for over two years now and instead I've come up with one or two mocktails of my own. 

Unlike most sugary cocktails this matcha mojito mocktail is packed full of goodness to nourish your body.  It's full of fresh mint, which is a great anti-inflammatory herb, and lime, which is an antioxidant full of vitamin C.  I've teamed these two classic mojito flavours up with Bluebird Tea Co Super Matcha tea. Super Matcha has been blended with superfoods; Acai and blueberry to create a subtle but delicious flavour.  Matcha tea is a great immune boosting antioxidant with ten times the antioxidants and goodness than one cup of green tea.  Not only does this mocktail taste delicious, your body will thank you for it!


To make two glass mugs 

1/2 litre water
Half cup fresh mint leaves
2 limes
Cold water
12 Ice cubes 

Optional: Tsp honey or a pinch of pure stevia which is what I used. 

In a blender mix the matcha, 1/4 cup of mint, juice of half a lime, the water and sweetener if you want to use one. 
Fill the glasses with ice, layering in mint leaves and slices of lime before pouring the liquid in.

Finish with more mint leaves and straws and enjoy!

Happy bank holiday! 

Emma xx

*Matcha Tea c/o Bluebird Tea Co

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Gluten and Sugar free Fruity Tea Loaf

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen I have recently become a tea rep for the Brighton born tea brand Bluebird Tea Co. As well as receiving lots of different teas to brew up, I've been challenged to create a monthly recipe to share with you using tea from the extensive Bluebird tea range. I'm pretty exciting about this challenge because more recently I've been well enough to experiment a little more in the kitchen with the help of my mum.

 We have a quest to create sugar and gluten free bakes I can enjoy after drastically changing my diet under the instructions of my doctor and nutritionalist. 

This recipe doesn't have any gluten or sugar, there's not even any sugar substitutes. It's sweetened purely by the ripe banana and tea soaked fruit. Some of you might be thinking that can't be sweet enough but, trust me, it's definitely sweet! This bake is by no means low fructose but it is full of natural goodness making it a very tasty treat! 

Ingredients :
2 teaspoons of tea - I used Bears like Marmalade by Bluebird Tea Co for added orange flavour (discount code below)
200ml just-boiled water
1 unwaxed orange 
2 tbsp orange juice
180g chopped dates 
200g luxury dried fruit- I used raisins and sultanas.  
1 tsp cinnamon 
Half tsp nutmeg
1 ripe medium banana 
2 large free range eggs
2 tbsp skimmed milk
200g all purpose gluten free flour
100g ground almonds
2 tsp baking powder

Start by putting the tea in a jug and adding 200ml boiled water. Stir and leave to steep for 5+ minutes. Measure out the fruit into a medium bowl. If using loose tea like I did, strain the tea into the bowl of fruit. Add grated orange zest and 2 tablespoons of the juice, mix well. Ideally leave this for several hours or over night if possible. This allows the fruit to soak up the tea.

Preheat the oven to 170°C/Fan 150°C/Gas 3½. 
Use baking parchment or a tin liner to line the base and sides of a loaf tin. 

Sift the flour, ground almonds, baking powder and spices into a large bowl. 

Put the peeled banana, eggs and milk in to a food processor to blend to make a purée. Add to the flour and combine. Then add the soaked fruit and any left over juice. Stir until evenly combined. 

Carefully place the mixture into the lined tin. 
Bake in the centre of the oven for one hour - an hour and 10 minutes or until the cake is a lovely golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the tin for 20 minutes.
Carefully turn the loaf out and leave to cool on a wire rack. 

I like to toast mine and spread it with butter and enjoy it with a good cup of tea! 

You can get 20% off your first Bluebird Tea Co purchase with my code ESTEABIRD35 

Emma Xx 


Sunday, 25 December 2016

Christmas Hopes and Wishes

flowers c/o Flowerworld 
Dress - Needle & Thread

This gift box is empty of physical gifts but it's full of my hopes and wishes for me and for you this Christmas.

My biggest Christmas wish is that one day I will be as healthy on the inside as I often look on the outside. To have 100% health would be like winning the lottery. It would be a dream come true. As you probably know, I'm working on my health through treatment but I wouldn't turn down a Christmas miracle! 

I wish for more awareness for invisible illnesses so that people like me don't have to feel how I sometimes find myself feeling. I do struggle a lot in terms of how invisible my poor health is. It can be hard for others to understand just how unwell I am when all they see is the carefully chosen photos of me looking a picture of health. I feel very aware of this. A lot of the time I can't even relate to those photos, like the ones above. They can often show such a different reality to what I'm actually living with which is the beauty of photography. However, I often find myself feeling like I need to justify them, to explain my hobby, the one thing that gave me a sense of identity after chronic illness took away my last one - I guess that's what I'm doing right now! 

I also wish for better health to all those who suffer so bravely, especially to my friends who smile through it all and support each other in the darkest of times. 

I wish that those who are healthy will keep the gift of health for as long as possible. 

I wish that you will be surrounded by the people you love the most this Christmas. It took me a while to learn this but I believe the most important things in life are the people around us and that spending time with those we love is the greatest gift, not status, power, money or objects. The greatest Christmas gift is spending time with those we love. Although I hope you find the gifts you want under your tree too!

Christmas can be hard though when some of our loved ones are no longer with us. If like me your missing someone, I hope that you can remember them in your own way today. 

I hope you have the best day, filled with your own traditions but if you're feeling extra ill, or if your family is intense, or you just feel a little bah humbug remember it's ok to take time out today. 

I wish that you all have a very merry Christmas and that 2017 will be a fantastic year for you all. 

My box may be light, but it's heavy with hope and wishes. 

Emma Xx