Homemade Almond Butter: The Perfect Pre-Workout Snack!

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. 

Homemade Almond Butter 
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. 

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Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Last week I was in Leeds due to work, my first time visiting since attending the Leeds music festival many moons ago. It was fun to see a little of what the city had to offer and enjoy a cocktail or two. I am such a home bird though, that by the third day I was missing my family and Hannah! Hannah, you see, went to the vet to get her teeth cleaned on the Thursday morning, but I only learnt when I got home on the Friday that she in fact had 12 teeth taken out! Yorkies have 42 teeth (thank goodness!) and after being a bit sick and groggy, she has bounced back to full strength! 

With all this happening, I knew I wanted to bake cookies when I got home. Cookies are comforting to me and remind me of happy family times. My mum is a big fan of oatmeal cookies, so we would get them a lot, though they were just the shop bought variety (my mum was no baker, unlike both my grannies).  We love the thin and crunchy cookie rather than the soft and chewy type. There’s something more satisfying biting down and hearing that crunch, or dipping it into a cup of tea or a glass of milk! 

Crunchy Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Simple to make, yet utterly delicious! A batch of these will cheer up you, your family or your work colleagues! 

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Simple Banana Smoothie With Ginger

Simple Banana Smoothie With Ginger. Start the day with this quick and simple smoothie.

Simple Banana Smoothie With Ginger

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. 

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Homemade Cashew Milk and The Froothie Optimum G2.1

Homemade Cashew Milk and The Froothie Optimum G2.1 High Powered Blender

Homemade Cashew Milk

HomemadeCashewMilkPin

I closed the lid on my blender and prayed that everything would go well. It had been on the blink for a while now, but as I only wanted a basic smoothie, surely it would be able to cope? I watched as it spluttered and choked on the contents and, before I knew it, I was racing out the back door with said blender smoking. Into the bin went the charred remains. I’ve never had much luck with blenders but to be fair, it’s my own fault…this is what is to be expected when you buy a cheap one and then test it beyond its limits. As for food processors, my impatience means I dislike cleaning them and changing the blades to suit whatever I’m making. I came to the conclusion that I finally needed a blender that could cope with my exacting kitchen requirements.

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Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread

Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread. In one hour you could make this easy and deliciously nutty banana bread, which includes flaked almonds and banana chips.

Buckwheat Banana Nut Bread

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. 

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Chocolate Hazelnut Spread From Hungry Healthy Happy By Dannii Martin

A healthier version of Nutella: Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

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.

ChocolateSpreadHHH

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.

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Cheesy Pasta Bake With Sweet Potato

Dinner, Vegetarian | February 8, 2016 | By

Cheesy Pasta bake with sweet potato.

cheesy pasta bake

A few days ago I found myself home alone, cold and bored. My distractions (Facebook, Twitter – baby talking to 4 needy dogs) were only interrupted by hunger and a lack of warmth. I made the short walk from our living room, almost tripping over the dogs along the way, to see what there was to eat in the kitchen. Not much, was the answer. Bag of pasta, some sweet potatoes, a very lonesome looking bar of chocolate soon to be devoured… and CHEESE. Ha! Forget the chocolate for now, cheese is my saviour! Cheese is sunshine on cold days. Cheese is the Confringo spell to eradicate boredom. Hello, cheese! I welcome you into my hands, I’m pleased to grate you over food and watch you melt and go all gooey. I’m more than happy to go for seconds and wipe the plate clean. Yes, I love cheese.

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Chocolate And Almond Butter Overnight Oats

 
If it’s not chocolate, it’s not breakfast

– Laini Taylor

Chocolate And Almond Butter Overnight Oats
 

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.

Chocolate And Almond Butter Overnight Oats

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.  

Chocolate And Almond Butter Overnight Oats
Serves 1
Filling breakfast for those always on the go. 
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Ingredients
  1. 40g plain oats
  2. 1 tbsp chia seeds
  3. 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  4. 200ml unsweetened almond milk
  5. 1-2 tbsp golden syrup (or honey)
  6. 1 tbsp smooth almond butter
  7. a smidgen of ground ginger
Instructions
  1. Place all the ingredients into a bowl or mason jar, give it a good mix and leave overnight
  2. Serve in the morning warm or cold and add your toppings of choice.
From Plate to Pen http://www.fromplatetopen.com/
 

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

Butterbean and Chickpea Stew

 
 Butterbean and Chickpea Stew
 
This hearty butterbean and chickpea stew reminds me of the vegetable soup that my mum used to make when I was little. At the time I was the fussiest eater in the world and drove my parents completely insane! I used to eat a round of bread with no butter and that was it! Mum’s vegetable soup however was something I could eat and enjoy without causing too much of a drama (picked out all the parsnip, which I loathed back then). I loved the butter beans and sopping up all the broth with my (dry) piece of bread was comfort food at its best.

Well, how times have changed! No longer a fussy eater (thank goodness!) and parsnips I now love!

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Udon noodle Soup with Tofu, Spinach, Carrots and Baby Corn

 Meatless Mondays have definitely become a weekly ritual for Neil and I. When we sat down to look at our meal plan for the week ahead, it was Neil’s turn to choose Monday’s. Since he’s a big fan of Asian cuisine, I was not surprised when he picked “some kind of Japanese noodle soup”. I love this though, as I can start coming up with ideas. When I searched google, ramen noodles seemed to dominate but lower down the page it was udon noodles that caught my attention. Udon noodles are a thick, chewy and soft wheat noodle that we had never tried before. Miso broth seems a popular combination to go with it, but I wanted to work with what I already had in the kitchen, and so this dish of udon noodle soup with tofu, spinach, carrots and baby corn was developed.

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