Recipes & Blog

Lemon Truffles

These lemon truffles are a great healthy treat for when you are in craving something sweet. I make a batch and freeze them and then take a few out in a morning and they are defrosted by mid morning ready to eat.

Don’t like coconut? Simply roll them in something else such as rose petals, cacao or leave them plain.

As well as being a good source of energy and fibre dates are packed full of vitamins and minerals including: calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, magnesium and zinc. Combined with the almonds these truffles are a great way to boost your brain power!

Ingredients:

(makes 20, depending on size)

  • 125g raw almonds
  • 170g pitted dates
  • 2 lemons
  • 20g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Place the almonds on a baking tray and bake for 10mins at gas make 4/180C. Alternatively you can buy unsalted roasted almonds
  2. Chop the almonds in food processor
  3. Juice the lemons then add lemon juice and dates into the machine. Blend until they are all coarsely mixed
  4. Put the coconut into a small bowl
  5. Using your hands, form little balls
  6. Roll the balls in the coconut

Chicken & Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

As the cold weather draws in, this curry is a great comfort food. Sweet potatoes are packed full of nutrients, they are an excellent sources of beta-carotene, Vitamin C, manganese, iron and Vitamin B6 to name but a few.

Vitamin C is fantastic for boosting the immune system, which is ideal as the colder weather sets in. Sweet potatoes also contain iron which helps to boost energy levels and as a slow release carbohydrate they help to maintain blood sugar levels and keep you feeling full for longer.

Ingredients:

Serves 4

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • 1” piece fresh ginger
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp Thai red curry paste
  • 500g Chicken
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 250g mushrooms
  • 1 tin coconut milk
  • 10 cardamom pods
  • 100g spinach

Method:

  1. Slice the onion, finely chop the garlic and grate the ginger
  2. Heat the coconut oil in a large saucepan, add the garlic and onions and fry until softened
  3. Add a splash of water and the ginger, cumin, turmeric, cardamom pods, tomato puree and Thai red curry paste to the pan and stir well
  4. Cut the chicken, sweet potato and mushrooms into bite sized pieces, then add to the pan. Stir well to coat with the sauce
  5. Add the tin of coconut milk and simmer until the chicken and sweet potato are cooked
  6. Chop the coriander and then add the spinach and coriander and cook until the spinach has wilted
  7. Serve with brown rice if desired

Blackberry, Courgette & Mint Muffins – Dairy-Free

Blackberries evoke fantastic childhood memories for me, from spending hours out in the fields picking them through to making blackberry and apple crumble with my gran. Somehow as a child my parents always bribed me to go on walks my telling me there would be blackberries to pick – I still to this day have no idea what they did when blackberries were out of season!

In my opinion you can’t beat picking something straight from a tree or bush and eating it. So unsurprisingly I still love blackberry picking and every year I have a fair few trips out standing in fields collecting blackberries. I find it  one of the most relaxing pass times, being out in the fresh air and eating fresh fruit, I think there probably still is a need to weigh me before and after entering a field/lane with blackberries in as I manage to eat as many as I pick!

As I’ve got older I’ve loved coming home and experimenting with blackberries from making blackberry gin to tweaking my crumble to make it healthier; and somewhere along the line of experimenting I came up with this seasonal recipe for minty blackberry muffins, with courgettes hidden in them!

These can be adapted to be gluten-free by using gluten-free flour. You can make them vegan by replacing the egg with apple sauce. I have made both versions of these muffins and tested them on some willing volunteers and they went down well. I just found that as I didn’t need them to be vegan using an egg instead of apple sauce was easier.

So why not go out and spend some time this weekend picking blackberries and making the most of the bumper crop we are having this year?

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 190g plain white flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 65g golden granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp chopped mint
  • 90ml of melted coconut oil
  • 90ml of soya milk (or nut)
  • 1 egg
  • 90g grated courgette
  • 75g blackberries

Method:

  1. Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4. Place 12 muffin cases into a muffin tin (I use silicone muffin cases as I find the muffins rise better and you don’t need to grease them)
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, ginger, sugar, mint and a pinch of salt in a bowl and stir well
  3. In a pan melt the coconut oil and then add the soya milk, mix well. Add to the dry ingredients and stir well. When it has the consistency of very thick batter add the beaten egg and stir until combined well
  4. Fold in the blackberries and courgette
  5. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases, so that they are about ¾ full. Bake for 30 mins, until a skewer comes out clean
  6. Cool on a cooling rack

Bone Strengthening Smoothie

I’m loving being able to have green smoothies again, during the early stages of my pregnancy I couldn’t face green smoothies but really missed them! This smoothie is quick and easy to make as well as being delicious! The spinach provides a good source of iron and the lemon helps the absorption of the iron.

Apples, bananas and spinach all help to strengthen your bones. Apple skin contains the flavonoid phlorizin which may help to prevent bone loss associated with the menopause. Bananas contain high levels of potassium which slows urinary calcium loss associated with a diet high in salt. Whilst a single serving of spinach provides twice the RDA of Vitamin K, which is important for maintaining healthy bones.

Ingredients:

  • ½ a banana
  • ½ an apple
  • 1 handful spinach
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 250ml almond milk

Method:

  1. Peel the banana and remove the core from the apple
  2. Place all of the ingredients in a high speed blender and blitz until smooth

4 Ingredient Coconut Chocolate Bars – Vegan and Gluten-free

These bars are so quick and easy to make and hit the spot when you need a sweet hit. They are similar to a ‘bounty bar’ but without all of the added sugar!

There is lots of conflicting information about coconut oil at the moment, some say it is the best food ever whilst others think it is too early to say whether it lives up to its health claims. Personally, I use coconut in a number of dishes as I believe it is important to have some saturated fat in your diet and I don’t eat butter or red meat so I think it is ok to have a small amount of coconut for saturated fat. Whilst these squares are high in calories they are nutrient dense and I can’t eat more than one of these at a time so it is better than eating a sugar laden snack.

Ingredients:

(Makes about 15 depending on size)

  • 170g unsweetened desiccated coconut
  • 100ml coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 100g 85% dark chocolate

Method:

  1. Place the desiccated coconut in a high-speed blend on the highest setting for 5 minutes
  2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan
  3. Add the coconut oil and maple syrup to the blender and blitz until well combined, the mixture should stick together when squeezed between your fingers
  4. Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and place the mixture into the tin, press the mixture down firmly into the tin
  5. Place the baking tray into the freezer for about 30 minutes to set
  6. Once the coconut mixture has set cut it into squares
  7. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water and then dip the coconut squares into the chocolate until covered. Once coated in chocolate return the squares to the grease proof paper lined baking tray
  8. Place the chocolate covered squares back into the freezer to set. Once they have set place the coconut squares in to an air tight container and store in the freezer

Quick and Easy Butternut Squash 7 Grain Salad

This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Rachel Kelly’s book The Happy Kitchen. I made a few tweaks to it including adding 7 grains to it to make it more filling. I love this recipe it is super easy to make and can be made in advance, just leave adding the avocado until ready to serve so it doesn’t go brown.

Spinach is great for every part of the body as it is high in niacin and zinc, as well as protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, thiamine, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.

Spinach is particularly good for your colon due to the high levels of flavonoids which protect the body from cholesterol and free radicals. The folate in spinach is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, and magnesium helps lower high blood pressure. Studies also have shown that spinach helps maintain your brain function, memory and mental clarity.

Ingredients:

Serves 6

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • Sprinkle chilli flakes (to taste)
  • 1 250g packet of quick cook 7 grains
  • 200g spinach (washed and ready to eat)
  • 2 avocados
  • 3 spring onions
  • 2 tbsp mixed seeds

For the dressing:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6
  2. Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1” cubes, place on a baking tray and toss in the oil and chilli flakes
  3. Bake the butternut squash for 20-30 minutes, until tender. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool
  4. Cook the grains according to the packaging, I got them from Tesco and they just need to be boiled for 10 minutes. Once cooked drain and leave to cool
  5. To make the dressing , place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with a fork
  6. Chop up the spring onions and avocado
  7. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well, add the dressing and stir well

Healthy Rhubarb Flapjack – Vegan

If you are in need of an energy fuelled sweet treat then this flapjack is just the thing for you. Sports clients and busy mums equally love it as it is so quick and easy to make and it can be frozen. Personally I freeze it in individual portions and then take one out in the morning and by mid morning it has defrosted.

Oats are a slow release carbohydrate and can help to lower cholesterol levels. Along with being packed full of fibre they contain a number of minerals including magnesium, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Ingredients:

  • 300g oats (or gluten-free oats)
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 50g pumpkin seeds
  • 200g dates (chopped finely in a food processor with splash of water)
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 100g sultanas
  • 3tbsp honey
  • 200g rhubarb, orange and ginger compote

Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the rhubarb, together and stir well
  2. Put half of the mixture into a greased and lined try, push it down firmly
  3. To make the rhubarb compote place 200g rhubarb in a pan with the juice and zest of 2 oranges and 1cm root ginger, grated. Cook until the rhubarb has broken down but not too runny
  4. Put the rhubarb compote on top so that it is a layer on top of the flapjack mix
  5. Add the remaining mixture and press down so that the rhubarb is in a layer in the middle of the flapjack
  6. Bake for about 45 minutes at gas mark 5
  7. Slice whilst warm and leave to cool

Chocolate Avocado Bites

These avocado chocolate bites are delicious, they melt in your mouth like a truffle! They are higher in sugar than my normal recipes but I came up with them as a snack to be eaten whilst breastfeeding when your body needs  extra energy (and things that can be made in advance)! The addition of avocados means these bites are packed full of nutrients, much more than a standard truffle!

Making these bites takes about 10 minutes to make and then you leave them to set in the fridge for a couple of hours before rolling them into balls. They couldn’t be easier to make! Oh and they are vegan and gluten-free!!

These are a snack to have occasionally in the same way you would a chocolate truffle.

Ingredients:

Makes 20, depending on size

  • 1 avocado
  • 1-2 tbsp almond milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp ground almonds
  • 100g 70% chocolate
  • 20g desiccated coconut

Method:

  1. Blitz the avocado with a slash of almond milk until smooth
  2. Add the vanilla, and ground almond and blitz again
  3. Melt the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pan of water (bain marie)
  4. When the chocolate is melted remove from the heat and stir in the avocado mixture until well combined. Cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours until firm
  5. Remove the mixture from the fridge and roll into small balls, roll in coconut and then place them in the a container in the fridge until you are ready to eat them

Super Energy Boost Green Smoothie

This smoothie is packed full of energy boosting ingredients and makes a great breakfast. It only has one piece of fruit in so won’t cause your blood sugar to spike. It’s super versatile so you can swap or remove any ingredients you’re not keen on.

Ingredients:

  • 2 large handfuls of spinach or kale
  • 1 apple
  • Small piece of fresh ginger root
  • 2” piece of cucumber
  • 1 avocado
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 1” piece of lemon
  • Water (the amount will depend on the consistency you like your juice to be)

Method:

  1. Remove the skin and pip from the avocado
  2. Simply put all of the ingredients into a blender and bend until combined

Easy Bean Dip – Vegan and Gluten-free

This dip is super quick and easy to make and will be sure to impress your friends with it’s taste.

Cannellini beans are a great part of a healthy diet as they are high in both protein and fibre. Beans such as cannellinni are frequently used in weight loss as they can help to maintain healthy, normal blood sugar levels in the body. Beans not only help you to feel full but they are also low in calories so they can be used to help achieve a calorie controlled diet. Along with the high fibre content this also makes them a great food for diabetics.

Ingredients:

  • 1x 400g tin cannellini beans
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 heaped tbsp. sesame seeds
  • A pinch ground cinnamon
  • Large handful flat leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon juiced

Method:

  1. Whizz all ingredients, except 1 tbsp lemon juice, in a hand blender until smooth and creamy, taste and add more lemon juice if required
  2. Serve with pitta bread, bread sticks or crackers