Wholewheat Banana Bread

Banana bread was one of the first things I remember baking all by myself (That and chocolate  chip cookies, gosh they were good too).  I used to bake it a lot (A LOT) and It’s still one of my favourite treats to rustle up. It’s also one of the easiest things to bake so there is an excuse for a bad loaf .

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You might be wondering if the original recipe I used is so good then why change it? Well, I work with a lot of clients with food allergies. Genuine food allergies, often multiple. This can be incredibly difficult to manage particularly in children.  Though the  range of products available in the supermarkets is getting much better, they can come with a heavy price tag. So, I’ve set myself a mission to come up with some easy, delicious and low cost recipes that the whole family can enjoy, allergies or not.

This is also a great option if you are watching the waistline with it being free of added fat and  lower in free sugars then your standard recipe.  This does not mean eat it by the bucket load (though trust me you’ll want too). Like all sweet treats enjoy in moderation as part of a healthy balanced diet.

This recipe is dairy free, egg free, nut free and vegan (provided you don’t use honey)

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Wholewheat Banana Bread

Ingredients:

⅓ Cup Apple Sauce (Homemade or Shop bought)

¼ Cup Brown Sugar/ Honey/ Maple Syrup (40g)

¼ Cup Unsweetened Oat Milk (You can use any plant based or dairy milk)

2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract

3 very ripe medium Bananas, mashed

2 tablespoons of Milled Flaxseeds

6 tablespoons of Water

1 ¾ Cups Wholewheat Flour

1 teaspoon of Baking Soda

½ teaspoon Salt

½ teaspoon of Cinnamon

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 165℃
  • Grease a 2 litre loaf tin with vegetable oil and line with baking parchment.
  • Mix the milled flaxseeds and water together and set aside to form a gel- approximately 15 minutes.
  • Whist the flax gel is forming mix the apple sauce, brown sugar, oat milk, vanilla extract and mashed bananas together.
  • Once the flax eggs are ready mix them in with the above mixture.
  • Now add in the wholewheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  • Stir the mixture until everything is combined and pour into the prepared loaf tin.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to one hour, test after 50 minutes- a knife should come out clean.

This is delicious just by itself but you could have it with some coconut yoghut, tahini or if you have no allergies some delicious nut butter! x x

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Okay so It’s no secret that I am a nut butter addict, I know I’m not alone. Peanut butter is my number one.  I used to hate the all natural stuff, Instead I’d opt for something that had more palm oil and sugar than peanuts. Thankfully over time I managed to convert myself over (for the most part). Though don’t the processed stuff still has a place in my heart.

Moving on. Here’s my fall back smoothie when you just want a slap of something delicious. I’m all about adding greens into my smoothies but sometimes they just don’t have a place.  This really ticks all the boxes for me-sweet, creamy and slightly salty.

I’ve listed some optional extras which I’ll be honest I always add in. I get that protein powders and cacao nibs don’t float everyone’s boat so the choice is yours!

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Chocolate Peanut Butter Smoothie

Ingredients:

1  Frozen Banana

2 tesapoons of Cacao Powder

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon on Peanut Butter

1/2-1 cup of Milk, quantity depends on how thick you like it.

Optional:

1 tablespoon of Cacao Nibs

1 Shot of Espresso

1 Scoop of Protein Powder (I like this one)

Method:

Place all ingredients into the blender, I use my beloved nutribullet, any blender will work fine. Whizz together until all the ingredients are combined and the smoothie is thick and creamy. Serve it up.

Cashew,Brazil and Vanilla Butter

I’m a nut butter addict, it’s no secret. If I see a new nut butter on the shelves I have to have it, regardless of how many half eaten jars there are in my cupboard. I’d never really thought about making my own nut butter. I thought why bother when I can buy perfectly good peanut butter from the supermarket. Enter the influence of social media, I saw so many people making their own I just had to see what all the fuss was about. The great thing about making your own is you can really jazz up the flavours as much as you want, and I love jazzy flavours.

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Every time we go to the supermarket we buy bags of nuts and ultimately we end up with lots of half eaten bags. I wanted to use up what we had and thus Brazil and Cashew Butter was born. You could of course keep this raw and not roast the nuts at all, but roasting the nuts gives the nut butter a much more intense flavour which I personally prefer.

Cashew, Brazil and Vanilla Butter ( Makes 2 x 200ml Jars)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Cashew Nuts

1 cup of Brazil Nuts

1 Vanilla Pod, or equivalent of extract or paste, chopped into pieces

½ teaspoon of Sea Salt Flakes

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Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 180℃
  • Toss the nuts onto a baking tray and spread out evenly.
  • Place the nuts into the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes until they turn slightly golden, keep a close eye on them as they can easily burn.
  • Once roasted remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • When the nuts are cool place them in a food processor along with the vanilla pod and sea salt. Blend until a nut butter forms. This can take anywhere from 5-20 minutes depending on your blender. If it gets a bit stuck you can always add in some oil to help it along but I find cashews and brazil nuts blend quite easily.
  • Pour the nut butter into jars and hide in a deep dark cupboard to stop yourself eating the whole batch.

If you want to make this sweeter you can always add in some honey, maple syrup or other sweetener to taste. I like it just as it is 🙂

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites

 

You may or may not have realised that I love my raw food bars or energy bites. The best grab and go snacks out there that aren’t full of junk. At the moment I’m running from one job and another with little time in between. I need something quick that’s going to give me a good boost of  energy but also something that isn’t going to be super heavy in my stomach. Especially important if I’m going to practice/teach yoga or go for a run.These bites are packed quick and slow release carbohydrates making them perfect choice and a perfect furl for a workout.

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I wanted to make some nut free bites for a change, though you can always add a handful in or sub the tahini for your nut butter of choice. I love cardamom and will always put in 4 pods. If your not so swung on it start with 2 pods and increase to your own taste.

Spiced Carrot and Apricot Bites (Makes 12)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Oats

½ cup of Medjool Dates (Roughly 5 dates)

½ Cup “ready to eat” Dried Apricots

½ tablespoon of Tahini or Coconut Oil

¼  teaspoon of Lemon Zest

¼ teaspoon of Salt

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

2-4 Cardomom Pods, seeds removed

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

¼ teaspoon freshly grated Nutmeg

¼ teaspoon of Ground Ginger

½ cup of grated Carrot

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Method:

  • Place the oats in a food processor and blend until they form a flour. Tip the flour out into a bowl and set aside.
  • Now place the rest of the ingredients, except the carrot, into the food processor. Blend until a rough paste is formed and the ingredients and completely mixed.
  • Now you can add the oat flour and grated carrot into the mixture and  blitz until everything is combined.
  • Take a small spoon of the mixture and roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place on a plate (or into a lunchbox) and allow to cool in the fridge, option always to skip this step and chow down on them straight away.

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I grab two of these for a snack on my way out the door in the morning or evening. They’re great crumbled into yoghurt for an easy breakfast or more substantial snack.

Have a great week! x x

Lemon and Almond Cookies

It’s no secret that I love lemons, I’ll add lemon zest into pretty much anything I can, sweet or savoury. I made these cookies after a clear out of my cupboards uncovered several open bags of ground almonds with no more than a few tablespoons in each. Never one to waste anything I set about making these cookies and they turned out not so bad at all. They’re so quick and easy to make you’d be foolish not to try them at least once.

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Don’t be fooled by the ingredients list. A cookie is still a cookie and these cookies still have free sugars and they still have fat. Basically enjoy them in moderation and don’t go eating the whole batch on me.  These are perfect with an afternoon (large) coffee, crumbled over Greek yoghurt or served hugging a great big scoop of ice cream. 

Lemon and Almond Cookies  (Makes 12)

1 Cup of Ground Almonds

Zest of 1 Unwaxed Lemon, approximately ½ a tablespoon

⅛ teaspoon of Salt

¼ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 tablespoon of Coconut Oil or Butter

2 tablespoons of Honey

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  • Preheat the oven to 180℃. Line  baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place the almond, lemon zest and salt in a mixing bowl.
  • Place the coconut oil and honey in a pot over a medium heat and melt together. Once melted remove from the heat and add in the vanilla extract.
  • Add the these wet ingredient in on top of the almond mixture and stir until everything is combined.
  • Divide the dough into 12 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball between your hands and flatten slightly. Place on the lined baking tray and then flatten each biscuit with the back of  fork making a criss cross pattern on top.
  • Place the biscuits in the preheated oven for 6-8 minutes, until the are slightly golden.
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly and then place on a wire rack to cool.

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These are actually my favourite little treat at the moment. Give them a go and if you make them tag me #foodiedee. I’d love to see any recreations! Have great weekend! X x

Lemon and Coconut Buckwheat Granola

I always have a jar of homemade granola in the house, ALWAYS. It’s cheap, it tastes delicious and it’s a cinch to make. This is my current favourite variation which I’m munching on in embarrassingly large quantities.

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I love lemon as much as I love cinnamon, which if you read my blog you’ll know that that is a lot. I’ll add lemon zest into pretty much anything, sweet or savoury, so It was only a matter of time before it made it into my breakfast bowl. Buckwheat is becoming more and more readily available. It’s so so good in granola, not only providing a nutty flavour but for creating the most amazing crunch.  If you don’t have buckwheat pinhead oats work great too. Failing this you can of course just use extra regular oats and seeds to make up the quantity of the buckwheat.

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Lemon and Coconut Buckwheat Granola

Ingredients:

2 Cups of Oats

¾ Cup of Buckwheat Groats

¾ Cup of Sunflower Seeds

½ Cup of Almonds

¼ Cup of Coconut Oil

¼ Cup of Honey

¼ Teaspoon of Salt

2 teaspoons of Vanilla Extract

¾ Cup of Raw Coconut Chips

½ Cup of Raisins, any other dried fruit like apricots would work too.

1  heaped tablespoon of Lemon Zest (the zest of approximately 2 lemons)

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Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 160℃
  • Place your oats, buckwheat groats, sunflower seeds and almonds into a large mixing bowl.Toss together to combine everything.
  • Put the  coconut oil, honey and salt into a saucepan. Place over a medium heat until everything is melted together, remove from the heat. Add the vanilla extract into the liquid mixture and stir to combine everything.
  • Pour the wet ingredients in on top of the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly until all the dry ingredients are coated in the coconutty honey goodness.
  • Pour the granola mixture onto a medium size baking tray and place into your preheated oven for 1 hour, stir every 15 minute to ensure it browns evenly.
  • Once the granola is ready take it out of the oven and pour over the coconut chips, spreading them out to from an even layer. Pop the tray back in the oven for 2-3 minutes, just until the coconut starts to brown around the edges. Once this happens remove from the oven.
  • Now stir through the raisins and the lemon zest.
  • Set aside and allow to cool before tucking in.

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If you’re going to make one thing of the blog I urge you to make this. Sprinkle it over some thick greek yoghurt and thank me later. Have a good Sunday everyone x

 

Apricot and Blueberry Cake

Right, time for a little rant. Something I’m seeing a lot of is “refined sugar free” baking. Essentially replacing sugar with another sweetener, be it coconut palm sugar, maple syrup or honey just to name a few. Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying that I don’t eat these alternatives.  I love a good drizzle of honey on my porridge  and what are pancakes without maple syrup BUT to claim a cake to be sugar free and essentially replacing it with another sugar is false and misleading. All of the aforementioned sweeteners still count as “free sugars”, something we should all be“free sugars”, something we should all be cutting down on.

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So, on a mission to make a cake with no free sugars, I came up with this. This isn’t only great to have with a cup of tea but it makes a super on the go breakfast too. Make a batch on Sunday night and you have breakfast sorted for the week, throw on a dollop of yoghurt and you’re onto a winner.

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Apricot and Blueberry Cake (Makes 9 pieces)

Ingredients:
1 ½  Cups of Oats

½ Cup of Ground Almonds

2 teaspoons of Baking Powder

½ teaspoon of Salt

1 Cup of Soft Apricots (the “ready to eat” kind)

2 Eggs

1 Cup of Milk (I used Oat Milk)

1 Teaspoon of Vanilla Extract

½ teaspoon of Almond Extract

2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil, you can use any type of vegetable oil.

1 Cup of Fresh Blueberries

¼ Cup of Flaked Almonds (optional)

 

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Method:

  • Preheat you oven to 180℃.
  • Great  a small 9” x 9” square tin using whatever oil you are using in the main mixture. Line with baking paper and set to one side.
  • Place the oats into a food processor and blitz until they form a rough flour, similar to the texture of wholemeal wheat flour. It takes about 2-3 minutes.
  • Tip the flour into a bowl add the ground almonds, salt and baking powder, set this dry mixture to one side.
  • Place the apricots into a food processor or blender along with the milk, eggs, vanilla extract, almond extract and coconut oil. Blitz until everything is fully combined and you have a thick, relatively smooth puree.
  • Add this wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir through until everything is thoroughly combined.
  • Fold through the blueberries dispersing them evenly throughout the mixture.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared tin and smooth it out so it’s level and even across the top.  At this point you can sprinkle the flaked almonds on top.
  • Put the cake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, check it after 35. Just test this as you would a normal cake, place a skewer in the centre and if it comes out clean the cake is done.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. It’s really delicious when it’s still a little warm.

I really hope you enjoy this as much as I do x

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A few alteration to suit dietary needs are listed below.

Egg Free/Vegan.

  • Replace each egg with one chia or flax egg. To make 1  x chia/flax egg:
  • Take 1 tablespoon of milled chia seeds or milled flax seeds. Mix with 3 tablespoons of water and stir thoroughly. Set to one side for about 15 minutes until it forms a gel. Use as per the eggs in the above recipe.

Nut Free

  • Use 2 cups of Oats in the recipe and omit the ground almonds.

Gluten Free

  • Oats in themselves are  naturally gluten free.  Cross contamination with gluten containing foods can occur during processing. So, if you have coeliac disease or a genuine intolerance to gluten ensure the brand of oats that you are using states it is gluten free.
  • If you are using a plant based milk please also check the label to ensure it is gluten free.

Chestnut Bites

 

I’ve an absolute hoard of cooked chestnuts left over from Christmas. I saw vacuum packs of them on offer and stocked up not remembering that I was going to be away for the entire Christmas period. Not being one to waste a food item I decided to work on a tasty sweet treat to satisfy those afternoon cravings.

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I made a batch of vegan chestnut truffles at Christmas as a dairy free after dinner option.  I totally made up the recipe as I went along and though they were good I think I over complicated things. I thought I could make a much simpler version using less ingredients and less added sugar. The bites I made at Christmas were covered with dark chocolate but to make these more of an everyday treat I’ve omitted that step. To be perfectly honest I don’t think it’s necessary and I prefer them without, call me boring.

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Chestnuts are low in fat making them a very welcome addition to my January diet. I’ve got to face the Christmas over indulgences head on and make compromises, for a very short period only. These little bites don’t make it feel like you’re making a compromise at all and really hit the spot.

Chestnut Bites (Makes 15)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of cooked Chestnuts, I use the vacuum packed for ease.
  • ½ Cup of Raisins
  • 1 tablespoon of Coconut Palm Sugar, or alternative e.g soft brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of Cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of Orange Zest, freshly grated
  • ¼ teaspoon of Salt

Method:

  • Place the chestnuts into a food processor and blitz until they form a fine crumb
  • Next add in the remaining ingredients and blitz until  the ingredients are combined and the mixture is combined starts to stick together, about 2 minutes.
  • Next take small spoons of the mixture and roll it together in your hands to make ball. Continue to do this with the rest of the mixture.
  • Place the balls on a plate and cover with cling film. Put them in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours to firm up.

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These will be good in the fridge for about a week but I doubt they will last that long. I hope you all have a lovely start to the New Year.

Foddiedee x

Chocolate Ginger Slice

It’s the festive season which means the season of excessive consumption of tasty treats is upon us.  I’m all up for indulging in this party season but I also don’t want to come out the other side feeling like a bloated lump. As much as I would like to indulge everyday my body just can’t cope with that, compromises will have to be made. I still want to enjoy a chocolatey treat but unfortunately I’ve had to knock diving head first into a tin of roses off my to do list.

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These bars are filling a void and are are oh so very good.When I was in Berlin some moons ago  I bought some raw vegan lebkuchen to bring home with me. After one taste I couldn’t stop and ended up bringing home 2 as opposed to 8. These bars are the closest thing I’ve got to those delicious little “biscuits”.  The ground ginger adds a beautiful warmth which just gives these bars that extra umph! I’ve stuck with ginger alone here to spice these bars because sometimes less is more. I’m also trying to avoid putting cinnamon as an ingredient in every recipe I write.

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So here they are………..

Chocolate Ginger Slice (Makes 8 squares)

Base Ingredients:

1 cup of pitted Medjool Dates

1/3 Cup of Almonds

1/3 Cup of Oats

1/3 Cup Dessicated Coconut

1 tablespoon of Cacao, I use this.

2 tablespoons of Cacao Nibs, plus extra for decoration if desired.

1 tablespoon of Maple Syrup

1-2 teasponns of Ground Ginger, start with 1 and increase depeinding in how fiery you like it.

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 Cup of good quality Dark Chocolate

1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil

1/4 teaspoon of Salt

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Method:

  • Place the almonds into your food processor and blitz until they form a fine crumb.
  • Next it’s as easy as adding in the rest of base ingredients. Place the remaining base ingredients into the processor and blitz until everything is combined. It should form a sticky crumble that holds together when pressed between your fingers.
  • Take a small baking tin or a large loaf tin and line with baking paper.
  •  Tip the base ingredients into the lined tin press  down to form one nice smooth, compact layer.
  • Now get on with the topping. Simply place the chocolate, coconut oil and salt together in a pot and melt over a very low heat.
  • Once the chocolate is melted pour this over the base layer and spread out so the base is completely covered. Then sprinkle on some extra cacao nibs.
  • Place in the fridge and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Take the slice out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to slice it. Then take a warm knife ( I hold a large knife over the steam of a kettle, this along with the coconut oil means that the chocolate won’t crack as you slice it.) and slice the bar into 8 squares

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Now make a cup of tea, snuggle up on the sofa and tuck in!

Hope you enjoy x x

 

Cacao Orange Bliss Balls

Bliss balls, they had to be the first thing I made in my brand spanking new Magimix. When the display model is on sale for better than half price it’s a total no brainer. How I have survived this long without one I will never know. Moving swiftly on from the excitement lets get back to why we’re all really here.

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These little nuggets are the perfect afternoon pick me up, just one of these is enough to get me through that 3 pm. slump when I just need something, anything to get me to the end of the working day. Cacao Orange is my jam and these delicious, fudgey little morsels hit my chocolate orange soft spot just right.

Medjool dates aren’t always available so you can use any soft dates you can find. I found Iranian dates in my local shop which are just heaven. If the dates you are using aren’t very soft tip them into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Set aside for 14 minutes then drain and us in the recipe in place of the Medjool dates.

Cacao Orange Bliss Balls (Makes 15)

Ingredients:

1 Cup of Cashew Nuts (Unsatled, unroasted)

1 Cup of tightly packed Medjool Dates (Really squash them in, it’s approximately 250g)

1/3 Cup of Raisins

4 Tablespoons of Cacao (you can use coco but you may need less, I haven’t tried it this way)

1 Teaspoon Orange Extract

1/2 Teaspoon of Salt

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Method:

  • Place the cashew nuts into the food processor and grind until they turn into a fine powder.Tip the ground cashews out into a bowl and set aside.
  • Next-throw the dates and raisins into the food processor and blend until they are broken down into a smooth paste. The dates don’t take much blending and may form a clump in the blender, don’t fret this is normal.
  • Now place place the ground cashews into the date and raisin mixture along with the cacao, orange extract and salt. Blend everything until completely combined.
  • Take around a tablespoon of the mixture and roll in the palms of your hands to form round balls. The shape doesn’t really matter that much, make square of whatever you like.

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You can serve these up as they are or for an extra little flare roll the balls in cacao powder or some ground cacao nibs(highly recommended).

They store really well in an air tight container fro about a week, though if you’re anything like me like me they won’t make it past midnight.