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St Patrick's Day - Irish Soda Bread and a healthy soup recipe for the 17th.

Health Benefits of Irish Soda Bread 

 Irish soda bread is a simple, yet hearty bread traditionally enjoyed by families throughout Ireland and for good reason too!

Irish soda bread doesn’t use yeast, so it could be a great alternative for those who often find other bread leaves them with digestive issues such as bloating or discomfort. It can be made with a variety of flours, from whole wheat to white and can even be topped with your choice of seeds to give it an even more wholesome feel. Gluten free recipes are also available online which use gluten free flour and usually a few extra ingredients such as xanthan gum and egg.

Buttermilk is required to give the bread its distinct flavour and texture but this also means the bread is low in saturated fat which may help to reduce the risk of inflammation and heart disease. Whole wheat recipes are also high in fibre which helps to promote a healthy gut, reducing digestive symptoms such as constipation and can help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. 

Ingredients

540g whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon salt
350ml low fat buttermilk

Method

Preheat oven to 200 Celsius or 180 Celsius for a fan oven
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl, create a well in and add the buttermilk
Gently fold in the buttermilk until all the dry ingredients are combined
Shape into a loaf on a greased baking sheet
Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut a ¼ inch deep “X” into the top of the loaf
Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown (tapping the bottom should result in a hollow sound)
Eat while fresh and warm!

St Patrick’s Day Soup

If you are looking for a tasty Irish themed soup to dip the amazing soda bread into, then look no further than this!

Ingredients

340g chopped leeks
460g baby leaf spinach
240g peeled and diced white potato
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
700ml vegetable or chicken stock
30ml plain yogurt or cream (for serving)
1 tablespoon chopped chives (for serving)

Method

1. In one large pan, melt the butter on medium heat and add the leeks, cook for 5 minutes or until softened
2. Add the garlic and potatoes and stir into leek mixture
3. Add the stock and turn the heat to high to bring to the boil
4. Reduce the heat and simmer until the vegetables are soft
5. Add the spinach and cook until wilted, this should take 1-2 minutes
6. Allow the soup to cool before blending until smooth
7. Serve with the yogurt/cream, chives and the amazing soda bread