Living in the middle of a city we’re really spoilt for choice for good food and I love going to The Arndale Food Market for fresh fruit, veg, fish and meat. It’s an amazing little place tucked away at the back of the major shopping centre and you can pick up fresh prawns, scallops, sea bass at a fraction of the price of the supermarket. On the opposite side is a great butchers where I pick up lamb steaks, steak mince and free-range chickens. No rip off prices here! Then the tiny green grocer sells everything you need from carrots to yams and plantains and you can get a whole bag of veg for under £2. I still do a bulk supermarket shop online for convenience but I love going here at the weekends!
Over the last week I’ve been experimenting with my new blender. After researching the hell out of all the blenders on the market (I’m a bit of a research geek) I decided to opt for the Magimix Le Blender. There are cheaper options on the market but this one has a really powerful motor and heatproof glass jug so it can handle chunky fruit and veg and ice cubes. It also has a separate attachment to grind spices, coffee beans, make pesto along with settings for making smoothies, frozen desserts, soups and crushed ice. So far I’ve made my favourite carrot apple and ginger juice, a banana and chocolate protein shake, pancake batter and pesto! Mmmm!
I had my first go at making cacao chia energy balls inspired by a recipe from Deliciously Ella. They were so easy to make, don’t need cooking, and are the perfect mid-morning or pre-gym snack or a healthy chocolate fix! I adapted the quantities a little, swapped the medjool dates for a large bag of normal pitted dates from Holland and Barratt and used ground almonds to save time. Take 200g chopped dates, 200g ground almonds, 2 tablespoons of melted coconut oil, 1 tablespoon warmed almond butter, 2 tablespoons of chia seeds 2 tablespoons of raw cacoa powder. Mix together, roll into balls and pop in the freezer for an hour to set. Then store in an airtight container in the fridge and they’ll keep you going all week.
In case you didn’t know, brunch is one of my favourite things! A late morning feast and a weekend treat! Last week we opted to go to Federal Cafe – one of the best spots for breakfast, brunch and brinner in Manchester in my opinion! On the edge of the Northen Quarter it’s a quirky Australian/New Zealand style café with reclaimed wood, rusted metal features and a hipster vibe that seems obligatory for the NQ. I went for grilled halloumi and shrooms on sour dough with tomato salsa, a supergreen kale juice, some awesome banana bread with a little mascarpone and a cappuccino. An extravagant but must have weekend brunch that needed to be walked off!
What have been your food highlights over the last week?
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