Quick and Healthy Citrus Spring Biscuits


This is a biscuit recipe that has evolved from making flap jacks in a hurry at seven in the  morning for the kid’s school snacks.  I like to make them fresh and I really don’t have time to make proper flap jacks, melt butter, weigh everything out, get flour everywhere, that just doesn’t work for me.  Therefore, I use tablespoons instead of weighing scales, because its quicker to grab a spoon and fill it. I thought I’d share my version which I have to say are no longer anything like flap jacks.


None of the ingredients are set in stone and I suggest you experiment a little.  These are made with oranges because they are in season in Portugal, as are lemons, but in England I would add plum or apple in the autumn, chopped up cherries or maybe a sprinkling of elderflowers in summer, so you get the drift.  Sometimes I add a dessert spoon of desiccated coconut or dried cranberries chopped in half, or sultanas depending on what is in the store cupboard, if I have nothing fresh.


4 tablespoons rolled oats

4 tablespoons rice flour (you can use ordinary flour, ground almond would probably work too).

1 tablespoon olive oil (of course you can use butter but olive oil is much easier and healthier).

Juice and grated rind of 1 medium orange.  If you are using a fruit that doesn’t contain much juice then you can replace this with milk or cartoned juice.

1 tablespoon honey.

1 dessert spoon sugar – optional.  I tend to add this sometimes as they then go down better with the children.  Half a teaspoon of ginger or cinnamon is a nice addition too.

1 pinch of salt.  Okay hands up, I don’t actually bother with this as I try to avoid salt, so this is optional.


Combine all the ingredients together.  If the mixture is too sticky add a little more flour.  You shouldn’t need to get out the mixer as it only takes about a minute to combine with a spoon until it has melded into a ball.

Roll out on a floured board (or a large flat plate which is quicker to wash) to about half a centimetre thick and cut with a 2″ biscuit cutter or into whatever size you fancy.  Pop them onto a greased baking tray.  I sometimes don’t even roll them out but pop them into shallow, greased pattie tins.

This should make about eight biscuits but if you want more just adjust the ingredients.

Bake in a pre-heated oven or a halogen oven at 200°C, 400°F or gas mark 6 for approximately ten minutes or until just slightly going golden brown.

Now then, when I came to bake these this morning my halogen oven wasn’t working so I ended up baking them in a grilling machine for 15 minutes.  It seemed to work although not quite as tasty and good looking as usual.  The pictures are therefore of the pre-baked biscuits.

Can’t wait to finally get a proper kitchen and oven.  Sooner rather than later now I think!



Christmas vampires and music rooms

When do we get the music room?

When do we get the music room?

“Do you think this is…er..a bit…scary?  Does it look like something out of a horror movie to you?” said Zed, as he looked at the freshly painted room.

not actual room

not actual room

Christmassy red or vampire red?  It’s all in the interpretation.

You see I painted our spare room yesterday which we are grandly going to call the ‘music room’ where Zed can put his keyboard, my son his junior electric guitar and my mother’s broken violin from childhood.  I keep it for sentimental reasons and because I’m a hoarder (see ‘thank you for my award’.)  We may also push the old piano in there. The red was meant to be slightly bohemian but…instead it looks like the cast of ‘The Twilight Zone’ would be at home there.  Afterwards I baked biscuits.

not actual biscuits

not actual biscuits

The music room is also going to be the guestroom for the Christmas guest who is coming today.  Thus in between baking another round of biscuits for two hungry children I’ll be doing two return trips to Lisbon airport. One to drop off Zed for a working trip to Zurich this morning, the other to pick up the guest this evening.

Anyone who has driven out of Lisbon airport will know about the terrifying six lane roundabout from departures you need to drive round before going anywhere else.  If I take the wrong turn after arrivals I’ll be doing this tonight in the dark.  Aaargh!  Look out everyone…coming through!

actually Lisbon

actually Lisbon

Yep, I can move countries, raise children…publish books…but that roundabout..perhaps I should just stay home, leave the guest at the airport and enjoy the newly rechristened ‘Vampire Room’.  If I stick some holly in there it may just pass as the ‘Christmas room’.  After all, Santa does hang out at night.  I could bake him some biscuits.

actual daughter

actual daughter

N.B. Due to loss of camera charge lead there is no picture of ‘the vampire room’.  It probably wouldn’t come out anyway.  Wouldn’t that be spooky?

not an actual vampire

not an actual vampire

Pic credits:

ichef.bbci.co.uk – biscuits,

apartmenttherapy.com – room

Not about vampires.  Available on Amazon £4.99 or less.

Not about vampires. Available on Amazon £4.99 or less.