Banana bread has become a staple bake in my house, a few slices smothered in peanut butter or simply munched with a creamy coffee is my idea of heaven. I’ve tried lots of ‘healthy’ versions and many of them still ask for large amounts of sugar – and personally I think ripe bananas (spottier the better) make the bread sweet enough without adding extra sugar. Having said that, I have thrown in some dates to this recipe as I’m using two bananas rather than three (as I would have used in previous breads) but you can easily leave the dates out if you prefer.
I’ve also used plain flour for this bread recipe however if you are gluten free, you can substitute with rice flour. I usually make banana bread with rice flour and it turns out lovely. I find it to be quite light and one of the better types of gluten free flours to bake with.
Although it’s called bread, I would probably say it’s more of a cake like texture. But you will find most of the banana bread recipes out there to be similar, and I can’t get enough of it!
You will need:
- 2 ripe bananas
- 50g of dates (soaked in hot water)
- 2 large eggs
- 175g of plain flour
- 50g of oats
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of bicarbonate of soda
- 80g of blueberries
- 2 tbsp of desiccated coconut
- 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds (or seeds of your choice)
- 1 tbsp of ground linseed (optional)
How to make:
Preheat the oven to 160°c (fan) and line a loaf tin with parchment paper or grease with a little coconut oil. After pitting the dates, cover in hot boiled water and leave to soften for a few minutes.
Using a food processor, add the bananas, eggs, flour, oats and soaked dates (drain the liquid away) and blend until a thick batter like consistency. You may need to add a tbsp of milk to make the mixture smooth. Spoon into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Before adding the blueberries, coat them in a little bit of flour to prevent them from sinking in the loaf.
When all combined, spoon into a loaf tin and smooth the top. Pop into the oven and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool for half an hour or so before slicing. Enjoy!
Chocolate porridge is the best! It’s sweet, warm and delicious, just what we want on cold wintery mornings (or evenings!) and a perfect way to start the day. To make this porridge extra creamy, I’ve added a spoonful of coconut butter. If you’ve never tried it, you must! Coconut butter has a rich, velvety texture that tastes creamy and is amazing spread on toast, added in smoothies or simply eaten with a spoon!
The crumble topping is really easy to make and takes this dish to another level… I like to make the crumble for all different flavours of porridge, from apple and cinnamon to mixed berry and peanut butter. If there’s any left over, simply pop into a jar and use for sprinkling on top of smoothies or yoghurt.
Heres how to make my chocolate crumble oats…
You will need:
- 60g of oats
- 30g mixed nuts
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of coconut butter (I used Go Nutrition)
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup
- 250ml of milk
How to make:
Roughly chop the nuts and add to a pan with 10g of the oats. Gently toast the oats and nuts for a few minutes, making sure to stir frequently to prevent burning. When lightly brown, spoon out of the pan and set aside to cool.
Prepare the porridge by adding the remaining ingredients to the pan, simmer for 5 minutes and keep stirring until thick and creamy. Spoon into a bowl and top with the crumble and some fresh fruit. Enjoy!
Overnight oats are one of my favourite breakfasts to make, they’re so easy to mix together the night before and grab a jar of them before heading out of the door in the morning. I usually exercise at 6am and after I’ve got showered and ready for work, I simply top the oats with fresh berries and seeds and munch away while I’m sat at my desk.
There’s so many different flavour combinations that it’s no wonder overnight oats have become my staple breakfast! I like adding grated apple and cinnamon, or if I’m in a chocolate mood (more often than than not…) I’ll add a heaped teaspoon of raw cacao powder and a spoonful of peanut butter – so good!
This recipe is made with conference pears (any type will work fine though) and ground ginger for a lovely spiced ‘gingerbread’ hint. I’ve also added chia seeds for an extra protein boost and it also creates a slightly different texture compared to just using oats alone.
You will need:
- 45g of oats
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1 pear (peeled and grated)
- 1/4 tsp of ground ginger (or 1/2 tsp if you prefer a more intense spice)
- 1/2 tsp of maple syrup
- 160ml of milk (I used coconut milk from a carton)
- 1 tsp of flaxseed (optional)
Peel and grate the pear into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir until completely combined. Leave in the fridge overnight and enjoy chilled for breakfast. Top with more pear, fresh fruit and a sprinkle of flaxseed.
Oh hello 2017! January is the month when most of us decide to set new goals for the year ahead, feel more conscious to eat healthier and set aside time to become more active. A few of my aims for this year is to experiment with more flavours, ingredients and try out new things in the kitchen. So, my first recipe of 2017 is this delicious beetroot and raw cacao smoothie bowl…
It might seem like a slightly strange flavour combination, but trust me, it tastes awesome! The beetroot adds an earthy tone to the smoothie but when blended with the intense flavour of raw cacao it creates a luxurious velvety taste that’s crammed full of goodness. You can add a little more liquid if you prefer to drink it from a glass otherwise the texture will be more like soft scoop ice-cream, yum!
You will need:
- 100g of cooked beetroot (in natural juices) – I used the vacuum packed beetroot
- 1-2 frozen bananas
- 1/2 avocado
- 1 heaped tsp of raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp of oats
- 1 tbsp of greek yoghurt
- cup of milk (I used coconut)
How to make:
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender and whizz together until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl (or glass) and top with your favourite fruit, granola and nuts. Enjoy!
Christmas is almost upon us and although we’re all busy buying gifts for our loved ones, sometimes it’s nice to make your own presents and there’s nothing more tastier than a jar of homemade granola! I love making my own granola as it means I can play around with flavours and know exactly what the ingredients are rather than some of the sugar heavy store versions. There’s something really satisfying about making your own granola too, the kitchen smells amazing when it’s baking and it’ll make the perfect gift for that special someone!
Here’s how I make my own Winter Granola…
- 150g oats
- 125g mixed nuts (I used a mix of cashews, peanuts, macadamia and pecans)
- 2 tbsp of pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp of sunflower seeds
- 1 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp of mixed spice
- 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp of coconut oil
- pinch of sea salt
- 75g of mixed dried fruit
Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan). In a pan, gently heat the coconut oil, maple syrup, cinnamon and mixed spice together until dissolved, be careful not to burn. In a large bowl, weigh out all of the other ingredients (excluding the mixed dried fruit) and stir together. Pour the liquid into the bowl and stir until the oats are completely covered. Transfer the mix onto a large baking tray and spread out evenly.
Pop into the oven and bake for 15 minutes, stir every 5 mins to ensure all of the granola is baked and golden brown. This also helps the nuts and oats to stop burning, this can happen pretty quickly if you don’t watch out!
When golden, remove from the oven and stir in the mixed dried fruit. Leave to cool before storing in an airtight jar.
Chocolate & hazelnut is a classic flavour combination, and one of the best smoothie bowls to make! I used to love Nutella but since I’ve started being much more aware of what I’m putting into my body, I tend to stay away from the shop bought version (Sarah Wilson, founder of I Quit Sugar, has a great article about it here) and make my own using ground hazelnuts, raw cacao and pure maple syrup. It’s so much more tastier too knowing you’ve made it yourself!
Here I’ve made one of my classic smoothie bowls, you can easily swap out the flavours by adding peanut butter or ground almond instead, it’s great to experiment. I’ve also added avocado as I find it makes the smoothie extra thick and creamy. I love topping my bowls with fresh fruit and a handful of granola. I’ll be sharing a homemade granola recipe soon, so keep a look out!
- 1 banana, chopped and frozen
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 tbsp of whole or ground hazelnuts
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds
- 1/2 – 1 cup of milk (I like to use Koko coconut milk)
Simply add all of the ingredients to a blender (I use a NutriBullet) and whizz together until thick and creamy, add more or less liquid depending on how thick you prefer your smoothie.
Top with fresh fruit, granola and seeds. Even a spoonful of greek yogurt would be delicious!
Apple. Peanut Butter. Oats. What more do I need to say?!
I’m always looking to find healthy alternatives to sweet treats, and today I’ve been experimenting with breakfast bars. Lots of the store bought versions are crammed full of sugar, additives and other names that we just simply can’t pronounce – and if you can’t say it, how are we supposed to know what we’re putting into our bodies?
I’m sure many of you are aware of my ‘overnight oats’ addiction (so flipping’ good!) and this inspired me to take some of the key ingredients and have a go making my own breakfast bars. As soon as they’re were out of the oven, the warm sweet scent filled the kitchen and I knew I was onto a winner!
The recipe is simple and easy to follow, and they make the perfect grab and go breakfast when times are hurried. They also taste awesome with a cup of tea as a mid afternoon snack. Brew anyone?
- 200g of oats (I used porridge oats)
- 50g ground almonds
- 2 apples, peeled and grated
- 25g of sunflower seeds
- 25g of pumpkin seeds
- 25g of peanut butter (I used The Protein Works PB)
- 25g of honey or maple syrup
- 25g of coconut oil
- 40g of 80% dark chocolate
Makes 16 squares.
Preheat the oven to 180°c (160°c fan) and line a square baking tray. Peel and grate the apples into a bowl, add the oats, ground almonds and seeds and roughly mix together. In a pan, add the peanut butter, coconut oil and honey (or maple syrup) and gently stir on a low heat until melted. Be careful not to burn! Pour into the mixing
bowl and stir together until combined and sticky.
Press the mix into the baking tray and flatten with the back of a spoon until compact. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before cutting into squares.
For extra yumminess, melt the dark chocolate and drizzle over the bars. Top with a sprinkle of seeds and enjoy!
If you have a really sweet tooth, increase the honey to 50g instead of 25g.
Apple Pie is one of my favourite desserts, it’s like a warm comforting hug! And we all know how much I love bliss balls, so I decided to combine the idea of a classic pudding with a healthy twist – all in mini bite sized pieces…
Lots of recipes tend to use dried apple but I decided to try making them with a real apple and they turned out delicious. The oats and almonds help soak up any of the juice and the dates bind them together, a squeeze of lemon juice helps to keep them from discolouring quickly.
- 50g almonds
- 75g oats (gf if needed)
- 75g dates (approx 10)
- 1 apple, peeled
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 1/2 – 1 tsp of cinnamon
Put the oats and almonds in a food processor and blitz until a fine crumb. Pit the dates, peel the apple and chop into small pieces. Add to the processor with the lemon juice and cinnamon and blitz together until sticky. Using a spoon, roll into balls and pop on a tray. Store in the fridge or freezer, makes approx 12.
Breakfast is probably my favourite part of the day, especially when I’ve made it the night before and it’s ready and waiting in the fridge. It also means I can start the day knowing I’ll be full of energy and not scrambling around for snacks at 10 o’clock!
Overnight oats is one of my go-to breakfasts, it takes 5 minutes to prepare and it’s so easy to swap and change the flavours. I’m loving adding grated apple at the moment, it adds a fresh texture and taste to the creamy oats.
Layering fresh fruit with oats is a great way to add more nutrients to your breakfast, and it just so happens to look extra pretty too!
Here’s how I made it…
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 45g oats (gluten free if needed)
- 165ml of milk (I use coconut, almond or rice)
- 1 tbsp of ground almonds
- 100g fresh raspberries
- 1 tsp of honey or maple syrup
- 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
Peel and grate the apple into a bowl, add the rest of the ingredients except for the raspberries, honey and cinnamon (I usually put the bowl on top of the weighing scales and add everything in). Stir well until all mixed together.
Next, add the raspberries to another bowl with the honey and cinnamon. Using the back of a fork, mash the berries together until pureéd.
Layer up the oats and raspberry pureé evenly and leave in the fridge overnight. Or if you don’t want the oats to turn pink, layer it together in the morning.
Sometimes breakfast is best eaten at dinner! Especially when it’s smothered in homemade chocolate sauce… Here’s how I made it:
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 45g oats
- 1 tbsp of seeds
- 165ml of plant milk
- 1 tbsp of raw cacao
- 1 tbsp of almond butter
- 1-2 tbsp of water
Start by making the Bircher, peel and grate an apple in a bowl, add the oats, seeds and milk and stir together. Leave in the fridge overnight. To make the chocolate butter sauce, add the cacao, almond butter and water to a pan on low heat and melt together.