recipes for healthy living

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

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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.

Home Made Kit Kat – Gooey Chocolate Fingers

I wont lie about these – they are insanely nice and insanely loaded with calories but also the most popular pic I posted on Instagram and I have been pestered big time for the recipe so here goes….. Don’t say you haven’t been warned – every-time I look at Dom he has his hands in the fridge for one of these – course when you work out every day you can afford it. Me on the other hand, I’ve been trying to make sure I’ve earned having one🙂


Gooey Chocolate Fingers
Makes about 24

For the Base
2oz dark chocolate chopped or in drops
1oz butter
4oz cornflakes
2oz chopped mixed nuts (chop them quite fine)
4oz of nutella or you can use half and half nut butter and nutella

Melt the chocolate and butter over a bain marie
Stir in the nutella / nut butter and let cool a bit
Crush the cornflakes and mix with the nuts
Pour into the chocolate mix and mix well
Pour into tin (9 by 13″ lined with parchment)
Flatten down with a spoon and put into the fridge or freezer to firm

For the topping
13floz cream
13oz dark chocolate drops or bars chopped

Melt the chocolate and gently heat the cream
Remove the chocolate from the heat,
Pour the cream over the chocolate and stir really well until it is fully combined and you have lifted all the chocolate off the bottom of the bowl
Pour this gently over your base, tip to ensure it gets into each corner
and put into the fridge to set
When fully set cut into finger slices – store in the fridge until gone!

Mini Apple and Blueberry Galettes

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Apple tarts are a reminder of Sunday’s growing up – after dinner served with whipped cream and ice cream. Still my dad’s favourite dessert. I prefer these galettes – even easier to make as no crimping required. I especially like doing the mini ones – more elegant and you just need 1 or 2 per person. If you aren’t a fan of making pastry, there are plenty of good quality ready made ones available including Gluten Free if you need it.

Apple and Blueberry Galettes
This will make about 12 small galettes
Oven at 180C

For shortcrust Pastry
225gr plain flour GF if you prefer
100gr butter diced (cold from the fridge)
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
few tbsp cold water (according to what you need)

Apple Filling
6 eating apples
1 tbsp cornflour
30ml of lemon juice – about 1/2 lemon
200gr blueberries
1 tbsp coconut palm sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

Place flour, butter and salt in the food processor and pulse a few times
until it resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg yolk and 2 tbsp cold water and pulse again and see does it come together into a ball.
If not add 1 more tbsp of water and pulse again, one more tbsp if needed.
Tip out and gently bring together, flatten and roll in cling and put into
the fridge, preferable for an hour but at least 30 minutes

Meanwhile, peel core and finely chop the apples, toss with the cornflour and lemon juice.

Lightly flour your counter top and roll out the pastry
Using a side plate or 5″ cutter cut out circles, place onto a flat tray
lined with parchment. If using all the pastry you will need 2 flat baking trays

Place 1 heaped tbsp of apple into the centre of the circle. Damped the edge with water and then gather the edge up . Start on one side, pull edge up onto the apple, move to the next side and gather it up, tuck it into a pleat as you go. Done worry it doesn’t have to look perfect, just gently press it together.
Stick a few blueberries into the apple, wet the edges of the outside of the pastry and sprinkle over some brown sugar and cinnamon if you like it.
Bake for 15 minutes approx until golden brown.
These are delicious warm as they are or you can go all out with cream and ice cream.

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