Healthy Living, Recipes

Oaty Apple Crumble

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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!

 

 

Ingredients
(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

Method
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

Recipes

Banana Ice Cream

20150528_114415It’s that time of year again where ice cream is everywhere. There’s nothing better than enjoying a cooling ice cream after a long day in a hot office, and now you can do it without the calories and the added sugars!

This recipe is SUPER SIMPLE! It has just one essential ingredient.

I’ve known about this idea for a while, but never tried it. I tried it last week and now I’ll permanently have bananas in my freezer, and when you taste this you’ll find out why! It actually tastes like creamy, ice cream. Suitable for just about anybody; those watching their weight, those with lactose intolerance, vegans, children, even babies! Plus you can vary it and make it “more gourmet” by adding in different things.

Healthy, cheap, tasty and sooo easy to make!

You’ll need a banana and a food processor.

(This recipe works best with ripe, sweet and soft bananas…the ones that are starting to go a little black in your fruit bowl!)

METHOD
1. Peel the banana, slice into coins and freeze in an airtight container or freezer bag (a couple of hours should be enough but overnight is best).
20150528_113850

 

2. Pop the banana slices into a food processor and blend.

 

20150528_1140133. First, they’ll appear crumb-like (see picture >>). Use a soft spatula to scrape the bits off that are stuck to the sides and keep going!

4. Once your bananas are becoming smoother, you can add in other ingredients if you want (see below for ideas).

5. Keep blending until your bananas (and extras) resemble a smooth, creamy texture…like ice cream!

6. You can enjoy it immediately, or you can put it into an airtight container and put it back in the freezer until it becomes more solid.

Additional flavourings (some not suitable for babies <12 months age):
– Walnuts (or other nuts)
– Peanut butter
– Frozen berries
– Honey
– Chocolate chips
– Nutella
– Crumbed biscuits (speculoos or ginger nuts!)
– 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon or ginger

Do let me know what you think and if you try adding in different things!

Recipes

Chickpea and spinach risotto

Risotto is a bit of a go-to for me. I like the whole one-pot thing it’s got going on, and I also find its gooey deliciousness indulging and comforting. Risotto is also easy to adapt by adding different vegetables and ingredients. This particular recipe is often one I use when I’ve forgotten to get meat out of the freezer, or one for meat free Monday!

IMG-20150304-WA0005Ingredients (serves 2):
100g risotto rice
100g chickpeas
1 large onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon butter
100ml dry white wine
100g mushrooms
200g spinach
100g courgette
1 tsp oregano
Lemon zest
500ml stock + water
Salt and pepper to season

Method:
1. Heat the butter over a low heat in a large saucepan big enough to hold all of the ingredients. Add the chopped onion, garlic, oregano and seasoning. Stir the onions and keep cooking them till they become translucent, don’t let the garlic burn.
2. Add in the risotto rice and allow the grains to heat up slightly. Then, pour in the white wine. It will sizzle and smell amazing.
3. Let the rice take up the white wine, and when it is all absorbed add a small amount of the stock. This is where the continuous stirring comes in. Little stock, stir, let rice absorb, stock, stir, absorb…..
4. When you’re about half way through your stock, add in the mushrooms, courgette and chickpeas. Then, continue to add the rest of the stock little by little. (If your rice hasn’t cooked but you’re out of stock, continue the same process with water until the rice is cooked.)
5. For the final few minutes, add the spinach and allow it to wilt into the risotto before stirring in. I like to add a little lemon zest here too but that’s optional!
6. Taste, and season further if required. Serve and enjoy (a little Parmesan would also work nicely!)

The nutritional information below is per serving:
CALORIES: 430kcal
TOTAL FAT: 8g
SATURATED FAT: 4g
PROTEIN: 14g

Recipes

Roasted Chickpeas

I’ve been making these for a while, but not got round to posting a recipe. These are great for those people who like to nibble, they have the crunch of crisps, but less saturated fat. Chickpeas are also a great source of protein and soluble fibre, which helps keep you fuller for longer.
They’re super easy to make and you can change the flavour so you don’t get bored. They are slightly addictive though, and (unless you’re okay putting up with the repercussions of bean-overload)…I’d recommend only having a handful at a time!

Ingredients:roasted chickpeas
1 tin of chickpeas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon paprika
Salt & pepper to season

  • Alternatives:
    – S
    wap the paprika for pretty much any spice you like (curry, chili powder, you could even try mustard!)
    – Swap the olive oil for coconut oil and have with cinnamon and honey for a sweeter alternative (omit the pepper).

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 200’c.
2. Drain the chickpeas and rinse under cold water.
3. Tip the chickpeas onto some kitchen roll and rub dry. This will remove some of the husks (that’s okay!)
4. Add the chickpeas into a bowl along with the oil and your choice of spices. Season as desired and mix well, ensuring every chickpea is coated.
5. Place onto a baking tray and into the oven.
6. Roast for about 30-40 minutes until the chickpeas are crispy. The longer you leave them, the crispier they’ll get – just don’t let them burn!
7. Allow to cool, and serve. Store in an airtight container and they keep well.

The nutritional information below is per 45g portion:
CALORIES: 90kcal
TOTAL FAT: 3.5g
SATURATED FAT: 0.5g
PROTEIN: 4g

Recipes

Apple & Walnut Flapjacks

I love walnuts! They taste great in salads, yoghurts, cakes and on their own! They are a rich source of many minerals, while also providing protein, healthy fats and vitamin E. It’s very easy to add them into your diet, either as a snack or as an extra ingredient.

These flapjacks are lovely, and the apple/walnut combo is a match made in heaven!

20150205_182603Ingredients:
200g oats
40g dried apple
130g pureed apple
90g sultanas
40g chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons honey
50g low fat natural yoghurt

Method:
1. Preheat the oven to 220’c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, chop up the dried apple into small chunks.
3. Mix together the oats, chopped dried apple, sultanas and chopped walnuts in a large bowl.
4. Stir in the pureed apple.
5. In a separate bowl, mix together the yoghurt and the honey, and then add that to the oats.
6. Make 20150204_102412sure all of the ingredients are well-combined, add them into the pre-lined tray and press them down slightly.
7. Pop in the oven for around an hour, or until the edges begin to crisp.
8. Slice into 12 pieces and store in an airtight container.

The nutritional information below is per portion:
CALORIES: 130kcal
TOTAL FAT: 3g
SATURATED FAT: 0.3g
PROTEIN: 4g

Recipes

Apple & Cinnamon Flapjacks

These flapjacks are a little bit naughty, but so nice! I’ve added golden syrup which makes them chewy and sweet. However, they use yoghurt in place of butter so they’re lower in saturated fat than conventional flapjack recipes. They are a filling, healthier option for when you need a little sweet treat.
I just love how you know exactly what’s in them, if you’d prefer them less sweet, then add less syrup! Although I must say, the gooey, chewy sweetness combined with the cinnamon flavour makes this recipe one of my personal favourites.

Ingredients20150127_145014
200g oats (use gluten-free oats if required)
130g sultanas
40g seeds (I used pumpkin)
5 tablespooons pureed apple
70g low fat natural yoghurt (should be gluten free, but double check!)
1 1/2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon cinnamon

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 220’c and line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
2. Mix together the oats, sultanas, seeds and cinnamon in a large bowl.
3. In another bowl, mix together the golden syrup, yoghurt and apple.
4. Add the liquids to the oats mix and stir the mixture until all the oats are covered and sticky.
5. Tip the mixture into the lined baking tray and flatten it down slightly.
6.  Pop into the oven and cook for around 30 minutes until the top appears golden.
7. Slice into 12 pieces and store in an airtight container.

The nutritional data below is per portion based on the above yielding 12 flapjacks.
CALORIES: 130kcal
TOTAL FAT: 2.8g
SATURATED FAT: 0.5g
PROTEIN: 4g

If you like these, try my Apricot and Pistachio Flapjacks.

Recipes

Almond & cranberry rock cakes

Sometimes you just need SOMETHING to go with that cup of tea, and SOMETIMES a piece of fruit just isn’t going to cut it 😉

These cute little rock cakes are perfect for those moment. They’re made with ground almonds which makes them high in protein and they don’t contain any butter which means they’re lower in saturated fat than your standard rock cake recipe.

If you fancy doing some baking today, give these a go!

Ingredients20150122_200353

100g ground almonds
80g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground ginger
50g dried cranberries
30g sugar
2 eggs
Honey (optional)

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 220’c.
2. Sieve the flour, and add it into a bowl containing the ground almonds, baking powder and ginger.
3. Add in the cranberries and the sugar and give it a good ol’ mix!
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the 2 eggs.
5. Add the eggs to the other ingredients and stir well until you have a sticky consistency.
6. Plop little dollops of the mixture onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (mixture should make 12).
7. If desired, you can add a little drizzle of honey to the top of each cake. It adds a little sweetness and helps the cake crisp up a bit.
8.  Pop into the oven and cook for around 30 minutes until the cakes are golden in colour.

The nutritional data below is per portion based on the above yielding 12 rock cakes.
CALORIES: 100kcal
TOTAL FAT: 5g
SATURATED FAT: 0.5g
PROTEIN: 3.5g

Recipes

Leek and potato soup

20150122_131523I had a couple of ingredients that needed using up so adapted my usual leek and potato soup recipe a little. It tasted delicious so I deemed it blog-worthy 🙂

As usual with my soups, I make on bulk and freeze what we don’t eat. The ingredients below make 6 generous servings.

Ingredients
1 leek
4 carrots
1 head of broccoli
2 onions
3 potatoes
100g red lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 tablespoon reduced fat creme fraiche
500mls of stock + water as needed
Salt & pepper to taste

Method

1. Peel the carrots and chop them up along with the leek, broccoli and the onions.
2. Cube the potatoes into small squares (no need to peel).
3. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and place on a low heat.
4. Add the carrots, leek, broccoli, onions, potato and garlic into the saucepan and give them a good stir. Leave them soften for a couple of minutes.
5. Add the lentils, the oregano, thyme and other seasoning and stir into the vegetables.
6. Pour over the stock and enough water to just reach the top of the vegetables. Leave simmering on a low-medium heat until the vegetables have cooked.
7. This soup tastes great blended, but it’s best to leave it cool a little before you do this (trust me!) Once it’s cooled, use a hand blender or a food processor to blend. If it’s too thick for your preference, add some more water.
8. Once blended, heat back up and stir in the creme fraiche before serving.
Mmm…Creamy deliciousness without the guilt 🙂

The nutritional data below is based on the above yielding 6 portions.
Per Portion:
CALORIES: 160kcal
TOTAL FAT: 2.5g
SATURATED FAT: 0.3g
PROTEIN: 5g

Recipes

Hummus

Hummus is a healthy and handy food that’s packed with protein, high in soluble fibre and a good source of healthy fats. It’s so versatile too, it can accompany a meal, works great as a dressing or sauce, in sandwiches or even on its own.

Problem is, shop-bought hummus can vary hugely in terms of calorie and fat content. If you’re watching your weight, you can often be left wondering if it’s a healthy or less healthy choice (particularly in Belgium where the shop-bought hummus I’ve tried actually doesn’t have a calorie information on the label!).

Making your own means you know exactly what’s in it and saves you money too!

Like a lot of my recipes, I make use of my freezer and make this in large batches and freeze it. Hummus freezes well, just ensure you use an airtight container and leave a little room at the top to allow it to expand. When you come to defrost it, leave it in the fridge overnight and give it a good stir before serving.

I’ve made my own hummus for a while, and I adapt the recipe to create different flavours, but this recipe produces a good base for you to use and add your own flavours to.

Ingredients20150122_131113
400g chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons lemon juice
200g low fat natural yoghurt
Salt & pepper to season
Paprika (optional)

Method
1. Crush the garlic and put into the food processor with the tahini and lemon juice. Blend.
2. Add the chickpeas and the yoghurt (I like to leave a handful of chickpeas out to have whole in the hummus, but you can add them all if you prefer).
3. Blend until you have a relatively smooth consistency (if it’s not runny enough you can add more natural yoghurt or a little water). Taste it and season it to your taste at this point too, you can also add paprika or other spices if desired.
4. Blend again, until desired consistency is reached.
5. Pop into an airtight container, remembering to add your whole chickpeas back in if you left some out earlier! It can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

The nutritional data below is based on the above ingredients yielding 8 portions.
CALORIES: 120kcal
TOTAL FAT: 3.5g
SATURATED FAT: 0.5g
PROTEIN: 6g

Recipes

Apricot and Pistachio Flapjacks

January…our cupboards contain the remnants of the naughty leftovers from Christmas, and we find ourselves ‘eating up’ the chocolate goodies. Well, it’s time to gain control again and make some healthy, much more filling snacks that we can treat ourselves to!

Oats are the perfect food to fill us up as they release their energy slowly, team that with the protein from the nuts/seeds and some fruit for good measure, and you’re onto a winner. This recipe contains no added sugar and much less butter than conventional flapjack recipes, using honey and apricot to sweeten and yoghurt to add the moisture.

Ingredients20150120_210902
200g oats
1 banana
100g sultanas
60g apricots
30g pistachios
30g pumpkin seeds
50g butter
70g low fat plain yoghurt
1 tablespoon honey

Method
1. Preheat the oven to 200’c and line a baking tray with grease-proof paper.
2. Melt the butter (30 seconds in the microwave) and add in the honey, yoghurt and banana. Mash all this up.
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, sultanas, pistachios and seeds.
4. Pour the butter mixture into the oats and mix well.
6. Tip the flapjack mixture into the lined tin, sprinkle on the chopped apricots and press them slightly into the mixture.
7. Pop in the oven for 30-40 minutes. You may wish to cover it if you don’t want the apricots/sultanas to crisp up.
8. Chop into 18 square pieces and store in an airtight container.

The nutritional data below is based on the above ingredients yielding 18 portions.
CALORIES: 110kcal
TOTAL FAT: 4.5g
SATURATED FAT: 4g
PROTEIN: 3g

I love receiving photos of you trying out my recipe suggestions!

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