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Healthy ‘Apple Crumble’ Baked Oatmeal

5 Nov

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This baked oatmeal is so unbelievably good that words can’t even justify it! It tastes like a cross between the most heart warming apple crumble and a hot, gooey cinnabon. It’s like eating dessert at seven in the morning and knowing that every bit of it is oh so healthy for you. Also a huge bonus in my opinion is that it doesn’t call for an egg. I don’t know about you guys but having to add an egg or especially an egg white (What did the poor yolk do wrong?!) to my baked oatmeal is just a big nuisance. I’m always running out of eggs and to be honest I much prefer it without the egg. I don’t actually add any sweetener what so ever to this oatmeal because I don’t have a big sweet tooth for breakfast and the raisins and apple add enough sweetness for me but feel free to add a sweetener or your choice. I would recommend dark brown sugar.

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Healthy ‘Apple Crumble’ Baked Oatmeal (Serves 1)

1/3 cup rolled oats

12-1tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp baking powder

1tbsp flaked almonds

sweetener of choice, to taste (E.g. brown sugar, honey, agave nectar)

1/3 cup skimmed milk

1/2tsp vanilla extract

1/2 granny smith apple, peeled, cored and diced

2tbsp raisins or sultanas

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf.
  • In a bowl mix together the oats, cinnamon, baking powder, flaked almonds and sweetener if its dry such as sugar.
  • In another bowl mix together the milk, vanilla, diced apple, raisins and sweetener if wet such as honey.
  • I do step 1 and 2 the night before and then mix both together in the morning. This allows the raisins to plump up in the milk but it is fine if you prepare it in the morning.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the wet and transfer mixture to an oven proof ramekin/dish. You can add up to a tbsp more milk if it looks a bit dry.
  • Bake in the oven for 20mins and enjoy, but don’t burn yourself!

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Breakfast Cookie

6 Oct

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I know, most of you are probably a bit baffled by the title of this post and I just want to say, just try it before you judge. You will be convinced the moment the first bite hits your lips. This cookie is not like your run of the mill refined, calorie laden, generally terrible for you but oh so delicious cookie. It has eliminated all the bad and happily been left with just the oh so delicious! The oats are a great slow release energy that keep me going even when I am faced with maths first thing in the morning!

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I personally don’t add any sweetener because I don’t usually like sweet oats but it’s completely up to you. The vanilla protein powder lends it a lovely cookie smell and taste and it feels ridiculously indulgent after adding choc or pb chips even though it isn’t! There is nothing more exciting then biting into melting chocolate chips at any time of the day let alone breakfast time. Children will love this and it is an interesting change up to add to any breakfast collection.

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Breakfast Cookie (Serves 1)

1/3 cup rolled oats

1 level tbsp vanilla protein powder (Or flavor of choice)

1/2tsp cinnamon

1/2tbsp chia seeds

1/2 banana mashed

1tbsp milk

honey or choice of sweetener, to taste (optional)

Toppings:

chocolate chips

coconut flakes

peanut butter chips

raisins

chopped dates

nuts (almonds, pecans etc) roughly chopped

  • Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl including any chosen toppings except chocolate or peanut butter chips.
  • Scoop out onto a microwavable plate and shape into a cookie.
  • Microwave for 1min then sprinkle the chocolate or pb chips over the cookie and return to the microwave for 25sec.
  • Add sliced banana or berries to the top and enjoy!

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Quinoa Oatmeal Bake with Banana, Blackberries and Almonds

15 Sep

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Being back at school has been a real shock to the system as regards to time management. I have been run off my feet for the last three weeks and thinking about what to do for meal times has been the last thing on my mind. So coming up with quick or freezer friendly dishes has been priority at the moment.

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This breakfast bake is exactly what I need. It is so easy to put together and made about 8 servings which I popped into tupperware and can have on the table in the morning in about 2mins. When reheating, it is a good idea to add a drop of water or milk before blasting it in the microwave. It is also crazy healthy and the perfect start to the day, even if the day itself started with me waking up late and running around the house like a maniac… It happens to the best of us, I hope!

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The quinoa injects loads of protein into the dish and the oats keep you going until lunch. You can vary the flavors of this dish by using different berries, nuts and subbing other spices for cinnamon. It would also be gorgeous with some crystallized ginger, which is what I’ll be popping in next time. 🙂

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Quinoa Oatmeal Bake with Banana, Blackberries and Almonds (Serves 6-8)

1 cup oats

1 cup quinoa

3tsp flaxseed/chia seeds

3/4 cup nuts of choice (I used almonds and pistachios)

1tsp baking powder

2tsp cinnamon

1/2tsp salt

1 3/4 cup water

1/2 cup skimmed milk

2tsp vanilla extract

1tbsp fat free natural yogurt

1 egg

2 large or 3 small bananas, sliced on the diagonal

1 1/2- 2 cups blackberries

  • Preheat the oven to 180ºc/350ºf.
  • In a large bowl, mix the oats, quinoa, flaxseed, 1/2 cup of the nuts, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together and set aside.
  • In a jug, whisk together the water, milk, vanilla, yogurt and egg until smooth.
  • Layer most of the bananas on the bottom of a casserole dish, saving some for the top then layer the blackberries over it, again saving some for the top.
  • Scatter the dry mixture over the fruit in an even layer then pour the wet ingredients over to soak in evenly.
  • Top with the reserved bananas, blackberries and nuts.
  • Bake in the oven for 45mins. Divide into bowls or tupperware if freezing. Top with some honey, agave etc. if you want an extra sweetness.

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Mature Cheddar and Sage Scones

19 Aug

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There is something soothing about going into the kitchen early in the morning and turning simple, everyday ingredients into something magnificent. It really relaxes me and always ensures I have a really calm and happy day. Things are so hectic at the moment because of the Florence trip (I’m soooo excited!) so I really needed something to chill me out, this was the perfect answer. Not only did I have a great baking “therapy” session to start my day but I ended up with these fantastic scones and believe me nothing smells better coming out of the oven then super cheesy scones!

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The sage and mustard are subtle but compliment the cheesy flavors well. The one thing I would highly recommend is that you use really tangy mature cheddar so that you have a real sharpness from the scones. These are great as is or used to accompany loads of different meals such as scrambled eggs for a decadent brunch, a steaming bowl of soup for lunch or alongside a meaty main for dinner.

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Mature Cheddar and Sage Scones (Makes 5-6)

225g plain flour

1tsp cream of tartar

1/2tsp baking soda

a pinch of salt

50g butter, cold and cubed

70g mature cheddar, grated (Plus extra for the top)

1 heaped tsp dried sage

21/2tsp mustard powder

a pinch of salt and pepper

1/4 pint milk, plus a drop extra for glazing)

  • Preheat the oven to 230°c/450°f.
  • Sieve the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt into a large bowl. Add the cubed butter and rub into the flour using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs.
  • Stir in the grated cheese, sage, mustard powder and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Make a well in the centre and add most of the milk. Mix together with a wooden spoon, add the remaining milk if necessary until it forms a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured surface and roll out to about 1inch thick, cut into roughly five rounds.
  • Place the rounds on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Brush with some extra milk and top with more grated cheese.
  • Bake in the oven for 10mins until golden.

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Get Better Soon Juice

2 Jun

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Lately it seems that I am always sick, I’m just recovering from one dose of the flu when I get dragged down again by another. It is driving me mad so I decided I’d try something different this time to see if I can fight it better. I decided to combat it with juice, full of healthy fruit and veggies and more importantly jam packed with vitamin C. My aim is to drink a glass (or maybe half a glass, it makes a lot!) every day to see if it speeds up my recovery time. Even if it doesn’t though, it is still really healthy and tastes yum so how can I go wrong? 🙂

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Get Better Soon Juice (Makes 1 Big Glass)

3 carrots

1 beetroot

1 grapefruit

2 mandarin oranges

1 x 1inch piece of ginger (or to taste), peeled

  • So simple, just put everything through a juicer and watch the magic happen.
  • Serve chilled with a straw (Not necessary but so darn fun!).

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All Natural Mint Chocolate Chip Bar

28 May

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These bars are so amazing, they are all natural yet they taste just like a mint choc chip ice cream. They are sweetened solely with dates and the protein powder and nuts give it a great protein boost. This little bar can be eaten for all sorts of meals, as breakfast with a smoothie, for lunch as a sweet treat after a light lunch or just as a mid day snack to silence a growling tummy.

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To make them it is just a matter of loading a bunch of nutritious and tasty ingredients in the processor and freezing it until set, I mean there is not even any baking so its pretty hard to go wrong. Because they are stored in the freezer, the cold enhances the cooling mint flavor and makes these incredibly moreish.

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1 cup pitted dates

1 cup rolled oats

2tbsp cocoa powder

1/4 cup unflavored/vanilla/chocolate protein powder

a pinch of salt

3-4tbsp milk

1/2-1tsp peppermint extract

1/2 cup walnut

1/4 cup almonds

1tbsp flaxseed

50g dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

desiccate/shredded coconut, to garnish

fresh mint, roughly chopped, to garnish

  • Grease and line a loaf tin with baking parchment or a small square tin.
  • Whizz the dates in the food processor until finely chopped and they are starting to stick together. Then add in the oats, cocoa powder, protein powder, salt, milk and peppermint extract and whizz again until all combined and smooth.
  • Finally add the walnuts, almonds, flaxseed and dark chocolate chunks and whizz one last time until the nuts are pretty finely chopped.
  • The mixture should be quite sticky and form a ball in your hand easily. If it’s too dry add a bit more milk.
  • Crumble the mixture all over the prepared tin and press down lightly with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the top with coconut and chopped mint.
  • Place another sheet of baking parchment over the top and use a short glass to roll out the mixture evenly.
  • Place in the freezer for a couple hours or until the bars have hardened.
  • Remove and cut into fingers. Store in the freezer.

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Crunchy and Healthy Home Made Granola

30 Apr

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To me, a granola should be coarse and crunchy and not too sweet. I hate it when it doesn’t form clusters and really all you have at the end is some slightly crisp oats and fruit. I use mine to top my morning smoothie so I like to keep it less sweet but you could easily add extra honey to this recipe and it would sort that out in no time. I like to put a fair few different types of dried fruit and nuts into my granola and its great because you can just use what you have on hand at the time. If you want a really plain granola then you could leave out the fruit and nuts or just put in a minimal amount. The first time I made this I had a bit of a eureka moment because it was the only time I ever made granola that it came out how I had always imagined granola should look like. The secret to this is a banana. I know it sounds ridiculously simple and it really is. The banana has the perfect level of sweetness and stickiness to hold the mixture together to form the clusters, it doesn’t taste like banana unfortunately but just has a subtle sweet note. As an extra bonus this granola is super healthy for you because it doesn’t have all the nasty fat and sugars that most granolas usually do, honestly you can’t really lose with this granola 🙂

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Crunchy Home Made Granola

200g rolled oats (Not instant)

1 ripe banana

3/4cup water

1tbsp honey, or more if you like your granola to be quite sweet

1tsp cinnamon

1tsp vanilla extract

a pinch of salt

30-60g nuts of your choice, I used almonds, cashews and hazelnuts

30-60g dried fruit, I used raisins

2tbsp shredded coconut

  • Preheat the oven to 190°c/375°f and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking parchment.
  • Place the banana, water, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until it forms a smooth liquid, 15-30sec.
  • Put all the dry ingredients in a large bowl then pour in your banana liquid. Mix to combine, if it is a little dry just add another splash of water.
  • Spread the mixture out in an even layer on your prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 30-40mins, checking on it about every 10mins, giving it a good mix and breaking up the larger clusters.
  • Don’t worry if it seems a bit soggy, it will crisp up as it cools. Remove from the oven when its all golden brown and let cool completely on the baking sheet.
  • Transfer to a container and use whenever you like.

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