The cooking Journal
Jalapeño and Cheddar Scones
While I'm a huge fan of traditional scones with jam, sometimes an unconventional twist on a classic breathes life into a dish. This time around, I made savoury scones, which are flavoured with extra mature cheddar. The heat from the jalapeños and the depth of the cheddar flavour are just perfect together. As with all scone recipes, this one is simple and the results are satisfying! They are a great accompaniment to soup but equally enjoyed on their own.


250g plain flour (or wholemeal if you prefer) + 50g extra for cutting and rolling

3 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

2 tsp English mustard powder

100g cold butter, grated

150g extra mature cheddar, grated

150g jarred jalapeños, sliced

2 tbsp finely chopped chives

60ml single cream

60ml milk

1 tbsp of juice from jalapeño jar


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°

  2. Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a mixing bowl.

  3. Add in the grated butter.

  4. Using a pastry cutter or the tips of your fingers, integrate the butter into the flour mixture. Continue until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs and there are no large lumps of butter.

  5. Add the cheese, chives and sliced jalapeño into the bowl and stir through.

  6. Mix all the liquids together and add them to the crumb mixture.

  7. Mix all the ingredients until it has come together to form a dough.

  8. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and shape into a rectangle.

  9. Sprinkle the top of the dough with some flour and roll out to about ½ inch thick, use a circular cutter of approx. 2 inches diameter and cut into rounds.

  10. Re-roll any excess dough and repeat until you have used up all the pastry.

  11. Place the scones on lined baking trays, leaving about 1 ½ inches between each scone.

  12. Brush the scones with milk and bake for 15-17 minutes until golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.

  13. Enjoy as a snack or perhaps with your favourite soup.


Read More
Rhubarb and Blueberry Crumble
As rhubarbs bursts into season we’ve been playing with different recipes all week to create some delicious puddings. By using a number of different ground nut and seed flours – I’ve made this recipe gluten free. The recipe is also vegan providing you use coconut oil not butter in the crumble topping. It is packed with a rhubarb and blueberry jam filling that could be used in any number of ways including a compote or smoothie base.  Whether it is a cheeky breakfast, a mid-morning snack, or a delicious pudding I think you’ll feel suitably smug since it’s also super healthy.

This recipe is nutrient dense, packed with organics whole oats, cinnamon, nutmeg, chia seeds, ground linseeds, ground almonds, and walnuts for texture. To sweeten the crumble mix I’ve used coconut sugar but of course you could also use honey or maple syrup too.  If the fruit is particularly ripe you may not even need the extra sweetness.


For the rhubarb & blueberry jam

6 large stalks of rhubarb (about 600g)

300g blueberries (frozen are fine)

2 tbsp coconut sugar

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

2 tsp chia seeds
For the crumble:
150g whole jumbo rolled oats

100g ground almonds

50g coconut flour

50g broken almonds

50g broken walnuts

50g dried cranberries

1 tsp cinnamon powder

¼ tsp nutmeg powder

1 tsp vanilla essence

150g coconut sugar or 5 tbsp honey or maple syrup

120g coconut oil or butter


Cooking Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C

  2. Start by washing the rhubarb stalks and pulling the fibres away (almost like fine ribbons) and discard these, and then slice into 1cm chunks.

  3. Place the rhubarb in a pan with the ground cinnamon and coconut sugar (or any other sweetener of choice). Cook for 4-5 minutes with the lid on and then add the blueberries. Cook once more for another 6-7 minutes until the blueberries are plump and can be squashed with the back of a wooden spoon. The mixture should be hot and bubbling.

  4. Remove from the heat and add the chia seeds, stir well and set aside to allow the chia seeds to soak up most of the liquid from the fruit and for the mixture to cool down.

  5. To make the crumble topping, start by combining the butter or coconut oil in a pan with the coconut sugar or honey, heat gently until the sugar has dissolved.

  6. Combine all the dry ingredients for the crumble in a large bowl and when the sugar has dissolved pour into the bowl and mix well. It should have a sticky consistency.

  7. Add the berry and rhubarb mixture into an oven-proof dish and spread evenly over the base. Then sprinkle the crumble on top of the fruit mixture and ensure all the fruit is covered.

  8. Place in the oven for 30 minutes until the top has taken on a golden hue. Serve hot and enjoy!

Read More
How good is your sleep hygiene
ONE third of our lives are spent in bed. We all know a good night’s sleep is a great way to recover and rest after a full day. Getting a full night’s sleep is not a luxury, it is a health necessity and for those of us in the world or work or studying it is essential to productivity and wellbeing.  It is recommended that adults have between 7-9 hours of sleep per night, and more for teenagers and children. Yet it is estimated that a staggering 40% of adults are not getting enough sleep, Public Health England state that the annual cost to the UK employers is a resounding £30 billion pounds and 200,000 working days are lost to sickness and mental health every year.

Sleep is crucial in the maintenance of our cognitive skills.  Being adequately rested enables us to communicate well, remember key information, be creative and flexible with our thoughts, and improves our decision making ability. Furthermore, sleep is essential to building a healthy immune system, making you less likely to catch a cold and thus less likely to need time off work.

In addition although this may seem obvious, sleep is free, there are no side effects of having a great sleep, unlike taking caffeine tablets or drinking caffeinated drinks to try and stay awake.  Good sleep also makes you less likely to over-eat - so it’s good for your waistline.

There are many reasons we can struggle to fall asleep, work related stress, long hours at work, illness or injury and money worries are just a few issues that keep us awake at night. This is where sleep hygiene comes in effect, (nothing to do with your bed sheets!) but all to do with how you create the ideal settings for a good night’s sleep.

Here are a few points to think about:

  • Try sticking to regular bed times, set an alarm on your phone.

  • Making an effort to relax before your bed time approaches.

  • Avoid caffeinated drinks and heavy meals late at night; they’ll prevent you from falling asleep.

  • If you’re finding it hard to slow down, breathe in for a count of four seconds, hold your breath for four seconds and breathe out for four seconds. Repeat as many times as needed.

  • Also think about how your technology usage too - Checking emails late in the evening or before bed is often a cause of unhealthy anxiety and distraction.

  • Computer screens, tablets and phones all emit a blue light which keep us awake by suppressing melatonin, the hormone which sends us to sleep.

Public Health England and Business in the Community have partnered to put together a free downloadable sleep toolkit for employers.   Click here for more information:


Consider how effective your workplace well-being strategy is working.  If lack of sleep is a growing problem within your organization then it’s time to re-evaluate the strategy and its effectiveness.  You could be contributing more towards the £30 billion then you think. 


If you would like to know more about our corporate wellness strategies then please follow this link:
Read More
Turmeric Latte
unlicenced Image

This time of year there are a plethora of coughs and colds around. If you’re feeling a bit under the weather, try one of our turmeric lattes. Turmeric is a super food packed with anti-oxidants!  It contains a substance called curcumin which makes turmeric highly antiseptic, anti-bacterial and the anti-cancerous properties.  Turmeric lattes have become increasingly popular with the nation. Not only does turmeric have incredible health benefits, it’s also great for your skin!

Try our super quick ready turmeric latte mix, as always our spices are unperfumed and unadulterated, so you can be sure you’ll be receiving all the benefits this wonderful drink has to offer!

Read More
It's Pancake Day!
Pancakes are all the rage at the moment, from protein pancakes, to the quick and easy two ingredient banana pancakes or even the naughty Nutella ones. Here at The Cooking Academy, we think the classic pancake still has its place.

The classic lemon and sugar toppings are still my favourite. In my version, I add the zest of the lemon into the batter to incorporate the healthiest part of the lemon into the actual recipe. Did you know that the zest of the lemon contains 5-10 times more vitamin C than the juice? Although lemons are known for their high vitamin C content –they also contain; vitamin A, beta carotene, folate, calcium, magnesium, and potassium. Of course the lemon peel is often overlooked in cooking and relegated to the bin but in fact it is much more of health rejuvenators in removing toxins from the body.

Once cooked, you can add the brown sugar or honey or maple syrup and lemon juice for a wonderful treat this Pancake Day.


110g plain flour

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

250ml semi-skimmed milk or any non-dairy milk if you prefer

50g butter

Zest of 1 lemon

To serve:

Brown unrefined sugar or honey or maple syrup

Lemon juice

Lemon wedges

Cooking Instructions:

Start by cutting the butter into five cubes

Sieve the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl and grate in the lemon zest

Make a well in the flour mixture, add the milk and begin whisking the mixture with a balloon whisk

Now add the eggs and whisk to incorporate all of the ingredients together into a smooth batter, resembling double cream, scraping any residual flour on the sides of the bowl as you go

Now melt one of the cubes of butter in a frying pan making sure the temperature isn’t too high to avoid burning the butter, using a ladle or small cup scoop out 1 ladle of the batter and carefully pour into the frying pan and tilt the pan to evenly distribute the batter all over the pan to make a very thin pancake (the art of making a fine pancake)

Maintain a low to medium heat to avoid the pancake browning too quickly. Don’t worry if the pancakes sticking, it will unstick once it is cooked on the bottom side.

Using a palette knife slowly begin to lift the pancake at the sides to check if it is cooked. When cooked have a go at flipping the pancake, carefully avoiding smacking the ceiling! J Once flipped, cook the other side of the pancake for about a minute and a half or until lightly golden

To serve, sprinkle with brown sugar and freshly squeezed lemon juice from the previously zested lemon. Roll and fold however you please and enjoy!

Read More
Loading more posts
Contact Now