Healthy Living, Recipes

Oaty Apple Crumble


I am so pleased with how this recipe turned out!

Apple crumble has to be one of my all-time favourite desserts, and this is a great healthy version made with oats. The crunch you get from using walnuts means you can omit the butter and it’s much lower in sugar than other versions too. Let me know if you try it and what you think!



(for the filling)
Approximately 5 large apples
1 tsp cinnamon
(for the topping)
50g + 20g oats (or 50g oat flour + 20g oats)
50g walnuts
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 200’c.
2. Cut the apples into bitesize chunks (no need to peal if you don’t want to!). Add the cinnamon and place in a pan with a lid on a low heat. Leave to stew for 5-10 minutes.
3. Using a food processor, blend 50g of the oats until you have a flour (this can take a while!).
4. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in the microwave.
5. Once the oats are ground, tip the honey and coconut oil into the food processor. Mix together.
6. Add the additional 20g of oats, the walnuts and cinnamon and blitz it all together until the nuts are chopped. You should have a mixture that resembles a crumble topping.
7. Tip the stewed apples into a dish and cover with the topping. Pop in oven for approx. 20 minutes, or until the crumble topping has gone slightly golden.

IMG_0201Serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt or custard!

Nutritional info per portion
(based on above serving 6 people)
Calories: 218kcal
Fat: 10g
Saturated fat: 3.5g
Protein: 3.5g


Bara Brith

I made this for the European bread festival at Schuman last weekend, and it was very popular. Lots of people asked where they could buy it, and upon being told I’d made it, I promised them I would put it my blog. (It didn’t even last long enough for me to take a picture!)

Bara Brith is Welsh ‘speckled bread’. It’s not really bread at all, more like a fruit cake, but one that is very special to me, given my Welsh heritage. I don’t often post cake recipes on here, but I love baking! This recipes is low in fats, but it does contain quite a bit of sugar from both the muscavado and the dried fruit.

You need to start making this the night before, as ideally the fruit needs to soak in the tea over night.

350g self raising flour
150g muscovado sugar (or any brown sugar)
1 egg
300ml tea (you can mix it up here, but I normally use Welsh – or English – breakfast)
450g dried fruit (raisins, sultanas, cranberries and mixed peel work well)
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp mixed spice
2 tbsp orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

1. Tip the dried fruit into a large bowl (it will expand), and pour the tea over it. Cover and leave it to soak overnight.
2. Preheat your oven to 160’c and grease a loaf tin lightly with butter.
3. Grate the orange to get the zest, then cut in half and squeeze  to get some juice. Sieve it to ensure there’s no pips!
4. Mix together the sugar, egg, honey, orange juice and zest.
5. Add this mixture to the bowl containing the fruit and mix well.
6. Gradually sieve in the flour and mixed spice, stirring in as you go.
7. The consistency of the mixture should be thick and drop slowly off the back of a spoon. If it’s too thick, slowly add a little milk until you reach the desired consistency.
8. Pour the mixture into the greased tin, and place into the oven. It will need around 1.5-2 hours. The top should look golden, and be firm to the touch in the middle.
9. Allow to cool, before slicing into 12-14 slices and enjoying with a nice cup of tea.

This is the one picture I do have…


Nutritional info (based on the above recipe yielding 14 slices):
CALORIES: 230kcal

Healthy Living

Eating well through Christmas

Those of you who follow my blog will know that ‘dieting’ isn’t something I encourage. I believe that short terms fixes produce short term results and short term results don’t lead to better health. For me, a healthy diet is about eating foods that are good for my physical and psychological health. Severe or permanent restriction of any food is not good for health; physical or psychological. 

Now Christmas can be a worrying time for many people who are anxious around food. There’s food everywhere.  Often, portion sizes increase and well-meaning people give food based gifts. And…alcohol! How do you continue your healthy lifestyle through this minefield?! Well, here’s my top 10 tips on how you can manage your food and Christmas.

1. Make your goals realistic
If you’re someone who likes setting goals, make sure they’re achievable. For example; are you likely to get up at 5am on Christmas day to go for a run, or lose 5kg in the Christmas fortnight? Setting goals that you’re unlikely to achieve may make you feel negative and result in you ‘giving up’. If you’re trying to lose weight, aim to maintain your weight over the Christmas period and get back into setting an achievable goal afterwards.

2. Be kind to yourself

Try not to be too hard on yourself. If you have been realistic in your goal setting this should help, but try to talk to yourself in the same way you would to a good friend. Using a supportive, encouraging, understanding tone is much better for your psychological health than disciplining yourself.

3. Stay hydrated
Start off your day with a large glass of water, and keep drinking more through the day. Being dehydrated can make you feel more hungry and increase the volume of alcohol you drink. Try alternating alcoholic drinks and water (see point 7).

4. Freeze leftovers
Sometimes it can’t be helped, cooking waaaay too much at Christmas is too harder habit to break. However, chances are if there’s stuffing balls left in the fridge they’ll be picked at between meals. Anything that can be frozen, freeze it so the temptation isn’t there.

5. Ration your chocolate or give it away
If you’re one of those people who can have chocolate in the house and not munch your way through a box in one sitting, then great, make it last. If you’re not one of those people, then how about giving some of your chocolate to a worthy cause; a charity raffle, a church coffee morning, your post or bin men?!

6. Keeping the balance
Always ensure you have a good amount of fruit and vegetables! The Christmas season often means numerous social outings, and that means food. Try to notice the amount of things like nibbles and bread you might eat before a meal. You could also try and look at the menu before you go to give you more time to consider your choice. You could opt for lighter starters like soup or melon and desserts like sorbet or meringue with fruit. You could even suggest sharing a dessert or just have a coffee. (Coffee and strong flavoured tea (like mint) can help cleanse the palate after a meal.)

7. Watch the alcohol units
For many, alcohol seems to come hand in hand with Christmas. Remember that in terms of calories per gram, alcohol is second only to fat, containing 7 calories per gram (fat contains 9 calories per gram). That means that one glass of bubbly is likely to contain around 90 calories and a bottle of 4% beer around 100 calories.
Remember that too much alcohol is not good for your overall health, so try to have occasions where you won’t drink at all (drive there so you don’t have a choice)! And always try to lessen your intake; alternate between alcohol and soft drinks, ask for extra ice or dilute wine or spirits with diet mixers.

8. Make some healthy snacks
People tend to snack more through the Christmas period, this is normal. Consider what you are snacking on, why are you snacking? Is it true hunger or emotional hunger? Work on being more aware of your habits and how they might differ from your normal. It may be worth looking at the timing of meals through the day too; are you snacking because you’re hungry (or thirsty)?

9. Get in some exercise
Spending time with loved ones is an important part of Christmas. Make time for walks and family activities and you’ll be enjoying their company as well as staying active. Get up from the sofa and enjoy the crisp winter mornings!

10. Choose indulgences wisely
Take some time to consider your options, for example, you could have dessert and canapes, just canapes, or just half a dessert. Make a conscious decision before you go about what you’re going to choose and then think about why. Is it because you have another party tomorrow? Is it because you’ll want some mulled wine later? Thinking about this ahead of time can help you in the moment.

It is hard saying no to everything everyone offers you, but staying in control of what you want to say ‘yes’ to is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. It’s not about always saying “no”, but being more aware of how often you say “yes.”. For some people, it helps to practice different ways you can say no, for example; “yes it does look delicious, I’ll be sure to have one later” or “thanks, that was lovely but I can’t manage any more” or simply “no, thank you”.

Try to change “I can’t” to “I don’t”. Saying this means you’re in control and much more likely to stay on track during the Christmas holidays.

Remember, you can’t do ‘wrong’!

Have a Happy Christmas!