Homemade almond butter is the perfect pre-workout snack. So easy to make in a high powered blender, you’ll never need to buy shop versions again.
I’ve been hitting the gym now since January and I’m surprised at how much I’ve been enjoying it. One of the classes I attend is a high intensity 45 minute spin class, which requires a lot of energy. I don’t like to eat anything heavy before a workout and so a light snack with protein provides the fuel I need for the gym.
Simple Banana Smoothie With Ginger. Start the day with this quick and simple smoothie.
Last Monday I went to a baking class on mastering macaroons and it was the best fun I’ve had in ages! I met some lovely people, including a lady called Patricia. Patricia and I were the two early birds for the class, so we had time to chat a bit whilst prepping our ingredients for the class. Patricia talked about the gingerbread men she had made recently and I talked about my favourite smoothie of the moment, as it happens to have ginger in it. Before we knew it we were laughing at the mishaps we were having with the macaroons; Patricia was having trouble with the food colouring (grey instead of red), whilst mine were gorgeous in colour but rather on the thick side. They piped out looking like uumm…pink poo! Macaroons are hard to get right but luckily smoothies are so simple to make, especially if you’ve invested in a good quality blender.
Do you ever go through phases of using ingredients for weeks on end? For me, my ingredients of the moment are ginger and coconut. This smoothie was the first one I tested out using the Froothie Optimum G2.1 and the flavours remind me of sitting on a beach soaking up the rays of the sun! Ah, sunshine! It’s made a guest appearance here for the past week and I’m thinking it’s not going to stay for much longer. It really does lift your spirits though and so does this smoothie, with its yellow colour and tropical flavours.
Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread. In one hour you could make this easy and deliciously nutty banana bread, which includes flaked almonds and banana chips.
I’ve been greedy this week, having devoured quite a few test batches of my creme egg muffins, despite sending Neil off to work with a box or two. It’s ok though, because it’s coming up to Easter and we’re allowed to treat ourselves (I keep telling myself). It’s not easy being a food blogger, I’m sure I have put on weight and there’s an endless mountain of dishes to be done, but hey, I love it! I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen, writing it all down and sharing it with you.
A healthier version of Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
There are certain words and terms that are quite simply irksome to my ears: “on a diet”; “detoxing”; and “clean eating” are at the top when it comes to eating behaviours. My philosophy has always been to eat in moderation without cutting out the food you love, to keep active and essentially you should be just fine.
It’s astounding the amount of recipe books that are thrust in our faces using these types of trendy marketing terms.“Souping” is the latest to target those trying to change their lifestyles. Just like these trends yo-yo in and out of fashion, you’ll find your weight also yo-yo’s as you try to find the right balance. Following a 7 day juicing course is one thing, but how do you maintain the weight loss once you start to eat normally again?
I don’t like these diet trends and never have; they aren’t healthy and they will leave you out of pocket and miserable. Denying yourself the food you love only sets you up for failure, as you will inevitably cave in and binge more than before you started. That is why I’m excited to share my thoughts on a refreshing recipe book called Hungry Healthy Happy: How to nourish your body without giving up the food you love.
If it’s not chocolate, it’s not breakfast
– Laini Taylor
Why did I choose the only Fleetwood Mac song I like as my alarm tone? Albatross begins to play, snooze button gets hit. Albatross starts again, snooze button gets bashed and a grunt from the other side of the bed can be heard. Albatross again…phone gets thrown onto the floor (another battle scar).
You’ve probably guessed by now that we aren’t morning people, and if you aren’t either, then you know what it’s like. Get up, get washed, and dash out the door without time for much else.
And that’s one of the many reasons why I love overnight oats. Prepared the night before and left to soak up all the flavours in your liquid of choice; come the morning you can just grab your breakfast from the fridge and enjoy with minimal fuss.
As I’d been using pretty much the same base but changing the toppings, I thought I would spruce things up a touch to make mornings that little bit nicer. The first ingredient that came into my head was chocolate. Do I need to explain? IT’S CHOCOLATE!! Paired with the second love of my life (almond butter) and this Chocolate And Almond Butter Overnight Oats recipe came forth into the world!
Enjoy it cold or heat it in the microwave (if you can spare a couple of minutes). Add any toppings you like. For this I used sliced banana, desiccated coconut, pumpkin seeds and goji berries.
As this is full of cocoa goodness, I’m entering this recipe into We Should Cocoa, a monthly linky created by Choclette of Tin and Thyme. This months theme is ‘anything goes’. Do check it out for more chocolate goodies.
- 40g plain oats
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 200ml unsweetened almond milk
- 1-2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
- 1 tbsp smooth almond butter
- a smidgen of ground ginger
- Place all the ingredients into a bowl or mason jar, give it a good mix and leave overnight
- Serve in the morning warm or cold and add your toppings of choice.
Other reasons why I love overnight oats:
1. It’s never boring, change up your toppings and you have a different breakfast.
2. It’s healthy. Well, it can be depending on what ingredients you use!
3. Keeps you full until lunch time.
4. Knowing you’ll wake up to something nice that’s ready!
Looking for more overnight oats recipes? Check out fellow food blogger Nadia’s Healthy Kitchen Banana Peanut Butter Overnight Oats
Saturday morning was perfect for two reasons: 1) getting up after a well needed lie-in, pulling back the blinds and seeing that the sun was splitting the rocks! And 2) when I opened the freezer to move things around, I spotted hidden at the bottom, lonely and unloved…frozen bananas! Sunny day + frozen bananas means one thing in my house – na na nana nice-cream!
Making nice cream is incredibly easy and you don’t need an ice-cream maker, just a food processor. A blender will do the job as well, it just might take longer depending on how powerful your blender is.
All you need are frozen over-ripe bananas and a splash of whatever milk you prefer. That’s the blueprint for nice-cream. Anything you add after that, is up to you. That’s how easy it is. And you can have as much fun as you like experimenting with your own flavours. The recipe I’m sharing is one of my favourite ways to eat nice cream – half is plain and half is chocolate, topped with coconut and fresh strawberries.
- 2 large over-ripe frozen bananas, chopped.
- A good generous splash of milk of your choice.
- 1/2 - 1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- 1 tbsp nut butter (optional)
- Put the frozen bananas into a food processor, add a splash of milk of your choice and blend until there are no lumps left in the bananas. Add more milk if needs be. Remember to scrape down any mixture that gets stuck on the sides. You can add vanilla extract for some extra flavouring and nut butter will make it that little bit more creamy.
- Serve immediately.
- This serves 1 person, double recipe for each additional person.
- 2 large over-ripe frozen bananas, chopped
- a splash of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tsp honey (optional)
- Put 1 chopped frozen banana into food processor with a splash of milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract. Blend until creamy. Remove and place on one half of your bowl.
- Add the 2nd frozen banana into the food processor with a splash of milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1-2 tbsp of cacao powder. Blend until creamy and add to the other half of your bowl. If it isn't sweet enough for your taste, add 1 tsp honey (or agave/maple syrup) and blend.
- Serve with toppings of choice (I used coconut and fresh strawberries).
- Yield: 1 bowl
P.S. Check out my recipe for plain nice cream with homemade granola.
Have you tried nice cream before? Wha’s your favourite combos?
Nice Cream with homemade Granola
Now is a good time to start storing up your over-ripe bananas in the freezer and be prepared for glorious hot summer days whilst enjoying dessert for breakfast. Yes…dessert I said! You see banana ice-cream (or nice cream, nana ice-cream, vegan ice-cream) is technically a fruit salad and so makes for a refreshing treat any time of day. This recipe is for plain nice cream, but what makes it special is the homemade granola that goes with it. It’s got: coconut; almond butter; pumpkin seeds; chia seeds; honey and oats; as well as dates and apricots. And there’s plenty leftover that can be shared with others, or enjoyed on its own, like cereal for next time. If you want to make nice cream for more than one person just add more bananas – I usually allow 2 large bananas per person. To make the granola vegan – use agave in place of the honey.
- 2 large over-ripe bananas, frozen and chopped
- generous splash of unsweetened almond milk
- 150g oats
- 150g pumpkin seeds
- 50g chia seeds
- 50g desiccated coconut
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 50g apricots
- 4 medjool dates, deseeded and chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 3 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp smooth almond butter
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven 180c (160c fan)
- Cover a baking tray with parchment paper
- Place the pumpkin seeds into a blender and pulse until the seeds are chopped
- In a large bowl mix the oats, chia seeds, desiccated coconut and chopped pumpkin seeds together
- Add the coconut sugar, cinnamon and salt and mix until well combined
- In a saucepan over a low heat melt the coconut oil, honey and smooth almond butter for 4-5 minutes
- Once it has melted pour over the mixture and mix with a spoon until combined
- Spread the mixture on the baking tray, pressing down lightly
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, stirring half way through. Keep an eye out so it doesn't burn
- Remove from the oven and add the chopped dates and apricots and let it cool
- Place your frozen bananas into a blender, add a splash of almond milk. Blend until your bananas are of a creamy consistency - you will probably need to stop and scrape down the sides to make sure it's all blended. And add more almond milk if you need to
- Pour your nice cream into a bowl and top with your granola
- Serve straight away
- Store the rest of your granola in an airtight container.
I’m sitting here typing this up in my PJs and scoffing one of these coconut, blueberry and banana muffins like there’s about to be a food epidemic! I’ve already shared them out with the rest of the family and luckily they got the From Plate to Pen seal of approval.
Spring lambs, bright yellow daffodils a bloomin’…I just love this time of year. Bright colours do wonders for lifting my moods. I particularly love seeing all the little easter decorations on display in the shops. That must have put yellow in my mind, because I’ve been on a bit of a lemon kick recently.
This recipe is a take on an easy pancake recipe I used to make as a kid with my mum and sister. The only difference is I’ve added some moringa powder for a more earthy taste, which also just happens to get on fabulously well with the lemon infused rapeseed oil I’ve used too. Can I just add, that cooking with this rapeseed oil has been a real pleasure! The smell of lemon as it heats is incredible! But if you don’t have a lemon infused rapeseed oil, vegetable oil will also work.
These pancakes are flat like in the style of crepes. I made mine quite small, but of course you can make them larger if you wish.
- 125g plain flour
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 pint of semi-skimmed milk
- 1 tsp Minvita moringa powder
- pinch of salt
- Broighter Gold lemon infused rapeseed oil for cooking
- caster sugar
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- Break the eggs into a large bowl, add the milk, sieve in the flour and moringa powder. Mix until you have a smooth batter.
- Get the pan on a high heat and then add the oil.
- Pour in just enough batter (2 - 3 tbsp) so it spreads out thinly and evenly, lift the pan and swirl it around until the base is covered.
- Once the batter starts to bubble, flip your pancake with a spatula and cook until golden brown.
- Repeat until all the batter is used up.
- Squeeze the lemon juice over the pancakes (as much or as little as you want) and add a sprinkling of sugar.
Baked oatmeal date and ginger cake is a filling and flavoursome breakfast. Combined with smooth almond butter and fruit, it’s suitable for vegans and guaranteed to keep you going until lunch.
It’s not like me to be lucky, but recently I won a packet of ThatProtein I Heart Pumpkin seed protein powder with chia seeds and thought it would be a great addition to a baked oatmeal cake. I am a big fan of oats and a hot bowl of porridge is one of my favourite ways to get fuelled up for the day ahead. If I have a little more time in the mornings, then baked oatmeal is my go to breakfast.
Baked Oatmeal Date and Ginger Cake
It’s so easy to make and versatile. This recipe contains dates (must be medjool they are the best imo) and freshly grated ginger. I feel the sweet taste of dates with the ginger combined with smooth almond butter and fruit just go so well together. This is a very filling and delicious breakfast, that will keep you filled until lunch and stop any snacking in between.
Why not add to your meal plan?
You could make a few of these at the weekend, freeze and use for mid week breakfasts! Can stay frozen for up to 3 months. Or to save time, make the night before, pop into the fridge and heat in the oven come morning.
Who says you can’t have your cake for breakfast and eat it?
- 2 medjool dates
- 40g oats (30g oats for less filling version)
- 1 tbsp of chia seeds (I used I Heart Pumpkin seed protein powder with chia seeds)
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbsp grated root ginger
- 240ml unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp of smooth almond butter
- any additional fruit/nuts/seeds
- Break up the dates and soak them in a bowl of hot water for 10 minutes.
- Whilst the dates are soaking, get another bowl and mix the the dry ingredients together with the unsweetened almond milk. Add in the grated root ginger last and give it another mix.
- Remove the dates from the water and mash them in a separate bowl, slowly begin to add the water back in until you get a paste.
- Add the paste to the rest of the ingredients and give it a good mix.
- Grease a ramekin with a little vegetable oil and then put your mixture into it.
- Bake at 180c for 20 minutes or until it has risen and becomes golden brown.
- Once baked and cooled add your toppings: 1 tablespoon of almond butter and any fruit or seeds you desire.
- One of my fave toppings is simply adding more dates and slices of banana. With this particular recipe, as I've added the pumpkin protein powder, I went with pumpkin seeds too. I love putting it back in the oven to get all warm, gooey and scrumptious. Let me know how you like yours!