I went along to my local IKEA Greenwich store last week for a foodie workshop event called “Waste Not, Want Not”. It was hosted by the lovely Melissa Hemsley (from Hemsley + Hemsley) and was about making the most with food and learning throw nothing away.
We were ushered into the sleek kitchen showroom by Maria from IKEA Greenwich who ticked us off the registration list as we entered. Melissa poured us all a glass of water, sparkling lemon or lingonberry mixed cordial which looked lovely but I stuck with the lemon which was refreshing. We were then told that we were going to receive Melissa’s latest cookbook, Eat Happy as a gift which was a wonderful surprise! She also happily signed it for each and every one of us. 🙂
The event night
Melissa then introduced herself to us and talked about her love for cooking and how she lives by the “waste not, want not” motto which was the take-home message of this workshop. Growing up with strong Filipino traditions and culture, she explained to us that her mother made sure she never wasted food. I think it must be an Asian thing as I always remember my parents saying the same thing to me when I was young and as a result, I too rarely waste food. I always had to finish my bowl of food and was never allowed to throw it away… or else there’d be trouble!
The workshop was supposed to include a live cooking demo but because of some technical issues with the cooker it didn’t happen so instead we got lots of tips and advice from Melissa on how to build a ‘waste not want not food bowl’ from unwanted bits and bobs sitting in the fridge (there’s also a recipe for this in the Eat Happy cookbook).
Food glorious food
She constructed a simple, beautifully presented bowl filled with chickpeas, boiled eggs, radishes, green beans, a leafy salad and feta cheese – all topped off with a light dressing. I love healthy food bowls but never really knew how to construct it properly so seeing it done was very helpful.
We all chatted about food and how some foods can have so many ways of cooking it or eating it. For example when eating an orange, instead of throwing the rind away, zest it and use the shavings to infuse sugar or add it to another dish. Alternatively you can even save the rind and use it as potpourri.
Banana and apple bread bake
During our chat, Melissa pointed out the delicious cake that caught everyone’s attention; the banana and apple bread bake! She posted up the recipe on her instagram page @melissa.hemsley the following day and I was keen to give it a try. It smelled so so divine at the workshop, I knew I had to get back to baking.
The banana bread bake came out so soft and fluffy. I don’t know if that’s how soft it’s supposed to be but I love it like that. Occasionally a heavy stodgy banana bread hits the spot but this evening a lighter version was perfect. I decided to make mine a little different and changed the recipe slightly – simply because I didn’t have all the ingredients at home so just made it up as I went along which turned out great!
Here’s my adapted version of Melissa’s banana and apple bread bake. To make this yummy dish vegan-friendly, simply swap out the eggs for a chia or flax seed mix, or another egg substitute. To make it gluten-free Melissa suggested quinoa or buckwheat flakes. If you’re allergic to nuts, use only coconut flour if you’re okay with coconuts otherwise you can try it with another flour – perhaps polenta or millet.
- 3 ripe medium-sized bananas
- 1 apple; 3/4 grated for the bake and 1/4 sliced for decoration
- 50g ground almonds
- 25g coconut flour
- 100g rolled oats
- 4 medium eggs (for a vegan alternative, swap for chia seeds or egg substitute)
- 150g coconut oil
- 1tsp baking powder
- 1tsp allspice seasoning
- 1tbs brown sugar
(bake using the same instructions as the original recipe)
- Preheat oven to 180C/350F or gas mark 4
- Add all ingredients (apart from the bananas and apple) together in a blender and blitz until smooth
- Add in banana and apple and blitz further to your desired consistency (with or without lumps)
- Pour into a lined loaf tin and add the decoration apple slices
- Bake on the middle shelf for 50mins
- Do the knife test to ensure the bread bake has thoroughly cooked inside then leave on rack to cool
There’s so many different ways to recreate this banana bread and that’s the real beauty of it. I’m thinking of adding in chocolate chips or orange rind next time too to spice it up a little bit more! 🙂
Bon Appetit, x