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Healthy afternoon tea

Healthy afternoon tea

Who’d have thought... A new spin on afternoon tea! Rustle up this healthy alternative that’s simple to make and looks impressive, too.

Skip the sugar crash with this healthier-alternative from wholesome cookbook ‘Love, Bake, Nourish’ by Amber Rose, which uses ground almonds and dark honey to boost the flavour with their natural sweetness, and a refreshing lemon verbena tea which is one of the highest anti-oxidant teas and is a natural mood-enhancer, great for the nervous system, stomach and skin.

A simple summer nectarine cake

This is a cake that fills your kitchen with the warmth and smell of summer, it’s great for picnics and also as a tea cake, served with a fragrant lemon verbena tea. Make it in midsummer when nectarines are at their best and these blushing little fruits beg to be eaten. The fruit sits inside the cake, keeping it moist and adding a delicious sweetness. You could also use peaches as an alternative for this recipe.

Ingredients
serves 10–12
175g unsalted butter, softened
150g white spelt flour, sifted
2 large free-range eggs
2 teaspoons baking powder
170g dark honey
3 tablespoons milk
100g ground almonds
400g very ripe nectarines, stoned and cut into 2cm pieces
Unrefined icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Grease and flour a 24cm loose-bottomed cake tin.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter until pale and fluffy with an electric hand mixer. Add 2–3 tablespoons of the flour and beat in the eggs, one at a time. Continue to beat until you have a light, fluffy mixture (if it looks as if it’s curdling, add another tablespoon of flour). Fold in the rest of the flour, the baking powder, honey, milk and ground almonds and mix well. Gently fold in the nectarine pieces.
Scrape the mixture into the cake tin, level the top with the back of a spoon or a palette knife and bake in the oven for 1–1¼ hours or until the centre springs back to the touch.
Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for at least 10 minutes before carefully turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. Dust with icing sugar.

Lemon verbena, lemon balm & lavender tea

The author Amber’s favourite herbal tea – this is amazing: soothing, refreshing and full of flavour. An all-round feel-good tea, it’s mood-enhancing, uplifting, works as an antidepressant, is antiviral and supports cognitive action whilst keeping you clear and calm.

500ml boiling water
2 sprigs of lemon verbena
2 sprigs of lemon balm
4 young heads of lavender (the flowers)

Pour the boiling water over the fresh herbs, cover and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Strain and serve

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