recipes for a healthy life

Breakfast Flapjacks


With Autumn here and back to school around the corner, I’m posting my favourite recipe for flapjacks because I get so many requests for it on my FB and Instagram. These are not the sugar laden variety you see in most baking books as I have eliminated all cane sugar and rely on honey and dried fruit for plenty of sweetness. These are perfect for breakfast as is or with some yoghurt and as a lunch snack when time is short and you need to grab something also perfect in school lunchboxes. From a health point of view, these are much better than shop bought variety, there are no nasties and though they are high calorie, In my opinion they are worth it. They keep for about a week in an airtight  container though they don’t last that long in our house.

Flapjacks – Makes 20
Oven at 180C

1kg porridge oats
300gr butter
250gr honey
400ml water
100gr dried fruit of choice
(optional extras include flax pumpkin and sunflower seeds – a couple of handfuls total)

Melt the butter and honey together over a gently heat – ensure you dont boil the butter
Mix the oats with the dried fruit and add a pinch of salt
Make a well in the middle, add the melted butter honey mix and the water and mix together until all the oats are incorporated. If it is a bit dry, don’t worry just add some more water until it is all mixed in.
Tip into a flat baking tray which has a lip all round, dampen your hands and press the mixture firmly flat, pressing into all the corners.
Bake for around 20 minutes until golden brown.
Leave to cool for about 5 minutes then mark out the cut marks for the flapjacks and leave to cool completely.
Makes 20.

392 cals per piece

Sweet Potato Galette


Sweet Potato Galettes
I make lots of dessert galettes – so easy and look so pretty but don’t often make savory ones. This changes that, delicious roasted sweet potato and butternut squash wrapped in savory slightly crunchy pastry and perfect with a green salad on the side. I made a spicy tomato passata for the base but you can use a plain one from a jar and it will be almost just as good.

Serves 4-6
200gr plain flour
20gr polenta
100gr butter diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
60-100ml cold water (according to need)

4 small sweet potato peeled diced and tossed in oil
1/2 butternut squash peeled diced and tossed on oil
1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
150ml Tomato passata or my spicy tomato sauce from (here)
1 egg beaten
1-2 tsp sweet paprika

Combine the flour salt polenta and butter in the food processor and pulse until like loose breadcrumbs.Add the egg and combine again,
Add as much cold water as needed to bring together into a soft dough.
Wrap in cling and chill in the fridge.
Roast the vegetables on a baking tray at 180C for about 20 minutes until soft, set aside to cool until needed.

Roll out the pastry on a sheet of greaseproof paper in as much of a circle as you can.  Life the paper and pastry onto the baking sheet it will cook on. Leaving a border of about 2 inches, cover the pastry with the tomato passata and then cover with the roasted vegetables.
Season well. Bet the egg and lightly brush the border with some of the egg (if you dont like egg, water will do). Fold the pastry border in, overlapping as you need until you have gone all the way round.
Brush the border with the rest of the egg (or water) and sprinkle with 1-2 tsps of sweet paprika.
Bake at 180C (160CFan) for about 25 minutes until golden brown.
This is delicious warm or cold so its up to you how hungry you are. I serve with a green salad simply dressed with olive oil and balsamic.



Breakfast bars


I didn’t intend to post another sweet recipe and actually this isn’t so much sweet as chewy, delicious and filling… in fact perfect for a grab and go breakfast in the car or on the bus. Full of oats and dried fruit they are great to get you going in the morning on a busy day or a perfect lunchbox snack if you have any little ones on summer camps who need lots to keep their energy going. Whenever I post a dessert or sweet treat I always say don’t eat them all as though they may be full of good natural ingredients they are high in calories and should always be consumed with that in mind. I find myself getting quite cross reading posts labelled ‘Healthy brownies’ or ‘Amazing Vegan Paleo No Dairy Cake’ as if any of those labels gives us the green light to consume loads of it.  Often the ingredients in these recipes are loaded in calories for example almond meal, honey, coconut butter, coconut fat…. Great though they may be, the still will make us fat and unhealthy if we consume too much.

So rant over – enjoy these bars but bring them to work and share them out!

Breakfast Bars- makes 16 pieces
110gr oats
30gr ground almonds
150gr dried figs chopped
55gr slivered almonds
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1/2 tsp salt
zest of a lemon

80gr honey
2oz melted butter
60gr nut butter of choice

Mix dry ingredients together
Hand whisk wet ingredients and add to the dry and mix well to combine
Press down into a parchment lined tin
Bake at 160c for 20 mins
Put them into the fridge to chill and this makes them easy to cut
When cold, remove from the tin and with a serrated knife cut into 16 pieces

Note Using MyfitnessPal these contain a total of 2685 calories with 16 pieces containing approx 170 calories each.

Banana Loaves with chocolate chips


Gluten Free baking can be a challenge at times – sometimes the end result is a bit dry. The banana in these makes sure that doesn’t happen, just make sure they are really ripe before using. This is a super easy recipe and versatile, throw into a loaf tin or muffin cases if you are in a real hurry. They are beautiful just out of the oven but equally delicious when cool with a coffee or a cup of tea and actually it is a great recipe for little bakers to make on their own.  In our case, they are the perfect sweet treat after  Eva has bounced on the trampoline for the afternoon….. I just try and make sure I’ve done my time in the gym before having some as I want to make sure I have earned the extra calories which will come from these delicious but sadly not calorie free sweet treat.

Makes 1 large loaf or 12 large muffins

Oven at 180C

100gr light brown sugar
8oz almond meal
6oz rice flour
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tbsp polenta (omit if you dont have it, not essential)
1 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs
6 ripe bananas mashed
2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
t tbsp nutella
2 oz dark chocolate chips 70% preferably

Combine the dry ingredients and give them a good stir to combine.
Mash the bananas and add the oil ,nutella and eggs and mix well.
Make a well in the dry ingredients and add the wet and mix well to combined to a smooth batter.
Pour into greased loaf tin or into muffin cases, sprinkle over the chocolate chips and bake until a skewer comes out clean – 20-25 minutes for the muffins, 1 hour for the loaf tin.
Turn out of the tin after a few minutes to cool.


Spicy Turkey Meatballs in Masala Sauce

IMG_1393 (2)

Protein Packed and full of flavour with a delicious texture, turkey burgers and meatballs are all the rage. Rather than buy ready made, I prefer to make my own, the flavour is much better and I can assure myself as to the origin of the mince used to make them.

For the meatballs
400gr turkey mince – seek out free range or organic if affordable
1 lemongrass
1 red chilli
1 tsp chopped fresh ginger
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
1 tbsp mango chutney
2oz breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt

Makes 8-10
Peel the tough outer layers away from the lemongrass and cut off all but the bottom inch. Chop this very finely
Chop the red chilli very finely
Tip the turkey mince into a bowl, add all the other ingredients, mix well and shape into meatballs. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes for the flavours to develop.

For the Masala Sauce
2 tbsp rapeseed coconut or olive oil
1 medium red onion finely diced
1 tbsp fresh ginger peeled and grated
2 cloves of garlic peeled chopped and mashed
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp mild curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1/2 can of chopped tomatoes (about 200gr)
1 400ml tin of coconut milk

Heat the oil and add the onion and sweat for about 2 minutes until it softens.
Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 3 minutes.
Stir in the spices and salt then cook for a minute or 2 – add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
Add the tomatoes, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and add the turkey meatballs.
Cook the meatballs in the sauce over a medium heat for about 8 minutes, then turn them over and cook for about the same until cooked through. Splash the sauce over them occasionally.
Serve with some Basmati rice on the side.


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