Saturday 31 January 2015

Parragon Book Buddies - January *Review* of The Superfood Kitchen (Fruit & Nut Bark *RECIPE*)

The Superfood Kitchen is priced at £6.14 on Amazon

January's cook book up for review from Parragon is 'The Superfood Kitchen'. This little gem of a book is packed full of fabulous recipes using a whole host of incredible "superfoods" - perfect for anyone on a health kick this New Year. 

Hopefully, those of you who are serious about improving your health in 2015 are still well and truly on the healthy bandwagon, despite it being the end of January (the time most people have given up on their new year resolutions and reverted back to their old ways!). 

If, like me, you're making an effort to eat a truly balanced, moderate and healthy diet, full of a little bit of everything, then this book would be a perfect starting point for understanding the top superfoods to include in your diet. 

For me, superfoods are the most nutrient-dense ingredients available on the market, they are foods that are beneficial for health, and should offer an abundance of vitamins, minerals proteins, complex carbohydrates and monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. A healthy diet should include a combination of all of these nutrient dense foods in moderation. 

To give you an idea of the sorts of foods that are considered 'super' here is a top ten list of my favourite superfoods (I eat all of these on a very regular basis):

1. Avocados
2. Kale
3. Eggs
4. Garlic
5. Bananas
6. Dates
7. Nuts and seeds
8. Whole grain (flour, pasta, oats)
9. Sweet Potato
10. Red berries

The Superfood Kitchen is a great book for giving you lots of groundwork into understanding a truly healthy balanced diet and includes the following really helpful sections:

-What is a superfood?

-What is a healthy diet?

-20 Fabulous Superfoods

-Super ingredients

-Superfoods Day By Day

Then the book goes on to offer the reader a selection of fantastic recipes inspired by the superfood ingredients:

  • Breakfasts - 12 recipes from red beetroot hash, carrot cake biscuits and banana, goji and hazelnut bread. 
  • Lunches and Snacks - 13 recipes including: sweet potato fries, ceviche, guacamole, power balls and sweet red pepper and tomato soup. 
  • Mains - 13 recipes from a simple beef stir fry, to risotto primavera, black bean and quinoa burritos and tangy turkey meatballs.
  • Desserts and Baking - 12 recipes including: warm walnut and orange cake, creamy coconut and mango quinoa, raspberry and watermelon sorbet and chocolate, fruit and nut bark. 
As always, I turned straight to the 'Desserts and Baking' section of the book, and was instantly smitten with the idea of making a Fruit & Nut Bark. I've been trying to come up with nutrient-dense, high energy snacks for my husband as he is currently training for his first marathon, and needs to eat a very careful diet to ensure his training goes to plan. He has a very sweet tooth, and like me, is a big fan of anything chocolatey, so this recipe seemed like the perfect combination of sweet and healthy. 

I used The Superfood Kitchen to inspire this delicious make (you really can't call this one a 'bake' as there is no baking at all involved, just a little gentle chocolate melting) and put together my own interpretation of their 'fruit and nut bark' using ingredients I had to hand. In the book the recipe calls for a mixture of dried cherries, hazelnuts, plain chocolate and crispy rice cereal. While this would be an absolutely delicious combo on its own, I wanted to pimp mine up a little, turning it more into a Rocky Road style superfood-packed treat! 

Lucy's Rocky Road Style Fruit & Nut Bark


200g good dark chocolate (75%)
125g very dark chocolate (85%)
100g good milk chocolate
40g good white chocolate (only cocoa butter fat present)
40g crispy rice cereal
3 digestive biscuits
175g mixed dried fruits & nuts (I used hazelnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, raisins & cherries)
100g dried apricots
50g prunes or dates
6 homemade marshmallows (you can use shop bought but homemade are so much nicer!)


1. Grease and line a large deep baking tray and set aside. 
2. Chop all of your dry ingredients (nuts, dried fruit, biscuits, marshmallows) into small bitesized chunks and stir in the rice cereal in a large mixing bowl. 
3. Melt all of the chocolates in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, ensuring the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl. Melt the chocolate gently, stirring occasionally until it is smooth and all the lumps have gone. 
4. Pour the moulten chocolate over the dry ingredients and stir well until everything is coated evenly. 
5. Pour the mixture into your lined dish and spread to an even thickness. 
6. Leave in the fridge to set for minimum of 1 hour, or until set firm. 
7. Cut into 12 very large squares, or 48 bite sized chunks for mini treats. 

Store in the fridge. 

Calories per bite sized square (48 per mix): 81
Calories per large bar (12 per mix): 324

Delicious homemade rocky road style Fruit & Nut Bark: full of delicious ingredients - a mixture of healthy super foods such as fruits, nuts and dark chocolate, as well as some scrumptious sweet treats to make it extra special. 

If you've never tried to make your own rocky road, then I urge you to give this a go, you will absolutely not regret it for a second. It takes a matter of minutes to throw together, and everyone who has tasted my recipe so far has absolutely raved about it! Yes, it is a treat food and is quite calorie-dense, but it is also nutrient-dense too, and will provide you with a much healthier boost of energy than a chocolate bar or slice of chocolate cake. 

Thanks to Parragon and The Superfood Kitchen for inspiring this delicious recipe development in my kitchen, I can't wait to get started on making some of the other delicious recipes in the book! 

Bye for now

Mrs B


Disclaimer: I received this product from the publisher for free. However, they have not paid me for this review, and they do not exercise any editorial control over my review or anything else on this site.