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

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

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

Frittata Cups Dairy-free and Gluten-free

These are my favourite thing at the minute, so quick and easy to make and they can be eaten cold as a breakfast on the go or taken to work for lunch. I tend to use whatever vegetables I have in the fridge so feel free to mix it up and add any herbs you like. If you like your vegetables crunchy then use diced vegetables, it you prefer them softer then grate the harder vegetables. You can easily double the recipe to make more so you have plenty left for lunch or switch it up by adding some grated cheese.

Eggs are a great source of protein and omega 3 they also contain Vitamins A, B5, B12.

Ingredients:

Makes 6

  • 4 eggs
  • ½ courgette
  • 1 small carrot
  • 5 mushrooms
  • ½ an onion
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • Black pepper (to taste)
  • Fresh coriander leaves (or any herbs you like)

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C
  2. Chop the vegetables into small pieces or if you prefer grate the courgette and carrots. Chop the spinach in to small strips and finely chop the coriander
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add the vegetables and coriander and stir well
  4. Using a muffin tin, divide the mixture evenly between the muffin moulds
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until the egg is set
  6. Serve with salad

Vegan Pesto

This recipe is a great way to make the most of seasonal ingredients. The addition of wild garlic leaves gives it a great colour and flavour; however it works just as well with a garlic clove. This dairy-free pesto works well with both pasta and salmon.

Ingredients:

  • 40g cashew nuts, pine nuts or almonds
  • A small handful of wild garlic leaves (or 1 clove garlic)
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1 small handful of basil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Olive oil

Method:

  1. Put the nuts and garlic into a hand blender and blend until they are roughly chopped.
  2. Add all the other ingredients except the olive oil and blend.
  3. Add a little bit of olive oil at a time so that there is just enough to make a paste consistency.
  4. Optional extra: add a couple of tbsp. of tomato puree to make a tomato pesto, great on pizzas!

Prawn Pho – Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free

One of my favourite dishes when I go to a Vietnamese restaurant is Pho is a hearty, healthy broth packed full of delicious ingredients. This is my take on a prawn pho, the prawns can easily be replaced with chicken or tofu if you prefer. If I make it with chicken I use homemade chicken stock to add extra goodness.

This recipe uses cloves which are often an ingredient that get bought for a particular recipe, like ham at Christmas, and then sit in the cupboard for the rest of the year. However there are many health benefits to cloves they have anti-fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and analgesic properties. Due to these properties they are commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine.

Ingredients:               

Serves 6

  • 7 whole cloves
  • 4 star anaise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 6 black pepper corns
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1” fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ red chilli (to taste)
  • 2 pints vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • ½ packet rice noodles
  • ½ packet mushrooms
  • 1 packet of baby corn
  • ½ packet green beans
  • 2 packets cooked prawns
  • 2 spring onions
  • 2 limes
  • Small handful of fresh coriander
  • Small handful of fresh mint

Method:

  1. Put the star anise, cinnamon, black peppercorns and cloves in a dry frying pan and heat until the aromas of the spices begins to release
  2. Put the spices in a pestle and mortar and roughly grind up, then wrap them in a muslin cloth and secure
  3. Place the stock in a large pan and add the spice parcel, ginger, garlic and half of the chilli, simmer for minimum of 10 minutes to allow the flavours to merge
  4. Slice the mushrooms and chop the baby corn and green beans in half and then add them to the stock along with the rice noodles, fish sauce and soya sauce
  5. Simmer until the noodles are cooked
  6. Divide the prawns between the bowls and then place the pho on top
  7. Add slices spring onions, fresh coriander, mint and squeeze with lime to serve

 

NB if you don’t have muslin you can place the spices directly in the pan and simmer for at least 10 minutes and then strained the stock before adding the remaining ingredients.