Recipes

Banana and chocolate pancakes

By January 15, 2015 Recipes
Banana & chocolate pancakes

These healthy banana and chocolate pancakes are a perfect option for a lazy Sunday morning. They are also one of my favourites for a pre workout breakfast, giving you plenty of energy from the slow release wholegrain oats and protein from the eggs and nuts.

The combination of banana, wholegrain oats, eggs and almonds seems to good to be true when it comes to making a pancake. Very different to the usual white flour and milk versions, and much much tastier in my opinion! Bananas are often underestimated when it comes to healthy foods, not only do they contain high levels of potassium, they are also a rich source of vitamin B6 and magnesium required for energy metabolism and brain function! Oats are a great addition to this pancake due to their immune boosting properties, and almonds give you a good dose of your healthy omega-3 fatty acids. The addition of cacao, the raw form of cacao, is bursting with antioxidants called flavonoids, and as a bonus is also a very rich source of iron.

Ingredients (makes 8 small pancakes – serves 2): 

For the pancakes:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 6 tbsp. almond flour (100% ground almonds)
  • 4 tbsp. oats
  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp. coconut oil

For the topping:

  • 1 tbsp. cacao powder
  • 6 tbsp. oat milk
  • 1 tbsp. manuka honey
  • 1 banana
  • 1 tbsp. chopped hazelnuts

1. Blend the eggs, 2 bananas, almond flour and oats in a food processor for a thick yet runny consistency.

2. Pour out half of the blended mixture into a bowl, for the banana pancakes.

3. Add the 1 tbsp, cacao powder to the remaining mixture in the blended, and blend for the chocolate pancakes.

4. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Coconut oil is heat stable and also full of powerful immune-boosting fatty acids such as lauric acid, therefore is great to use when frying foods.

5. Split each of the pancake mixtures into 4 equal parts and pour onto the pan to make 4 small pancakes for each flavour. You may want to use 2 pans, or cook each flavour seperately. Fry the pancakes on a medium heat for approx 3-5 minutes until they are holding together, and then turn them over gently to cook the other side for a further 3 minutes. I recommend frying on a medium heat, as almonds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 fats can be ruined if heated too high. Frying on a high heat would reach temperatures over 200 deg C.

6. While the pancakes are cooking, in a bowl, stir together the cacao powder, oat milk and manuka honey to make a chocolate sauce.

7. Serve the pancakes with 1/2 sliced banana over each portion, with the chocolate sauce poured over the top, and the chopped hazelnuts for crunchy healthy topping.

Treat your loved ones to these pancakes for breakfast at the weekend and I am sure you will get a big smile on their face while they bite into these nutritious healthy pancakes. 

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Apricot & chocolate tart

By December 5, 2014 Recipes
Apricot & chocolate tart

Rich and chocolatey, sweet and fruity, and with a crunchy wholesome base. This tart is extremely satisfying, filling and very nutrient dense, full of antioxidants, protein and fibre. If you like sweet ripe apricots and you like chocolate, you can’t go wrong with this healthy apricot tart.

apricot tart 3This apricot and chocolate tart is surprisingly sweet with very little natural coconut sugar added (only 4 tbsp. for the whole tart to serve 12!) The rest of the sweetness comes naturally from the apricots, which when cooked in the oven have a soft delicate texture. The beta carotene antioxidants in apricots that give them their bright orange appearance are great for skin health and general anti-ageing, so you will feel good eating this tart knowing that you are only putting goodness into your body. The oats in the base also contain a special type of fibre called beta glucans which do wonders for your immune system.  With plenty of eggs, almonds and chia seeds added, this tart provides a good source of protein and healthy fats, so consider this tart a healthy balanced meal. You don’t have to add extra calories by having dessert on top of your dinner, you can have it instead!

apricot tart 2

Ingredients (serves 12):

The base

  • 170g oats
  • 25g (3 tbsp.) cacao
  • 25g (2 tbsp.) chia seeds
  • 80g coconut oil
  • 25g (2 tbsp.) coconut sugar
  • 100ml warm water (warm water is best to prevent the coconut oil from solidifying when you are mixing ingredients)

The filling

  • 4 eggs at room temperature
  • 25g coconut sugar
  • 140g almond flour (100% ground almonds)
  • 25 dried apricots (140g)
  • 6 fresh apricots at room temperature
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 140g coconut oil

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C, and grease a circular tart tray / glass dish with 1 tsp. coconut oil. I recommend using this temperature, as almonds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats can be ruined if heated too high.

2. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat. Coconut oil is heat stable and also full of powerful immune-boosting fatty acids such as lauric acid.

3. While the coconut oil is melting, blend the oats in a food processor until you have a finer almost flour like consistency (it is ok to have a few larger pieces of oats)

4.Take the coconut off the heat as soon as it has melted to a liquid, and set aside.

5. Grind the chia seeds in a coffee / spice grinder.

6. Add the ground chia seeds, cacao powder and coconut sugar to the oats in the food processor and blend well.

7. In the food processor with the mixed dry ingredients, add the melted coconut oil, and warm water and blend until you have a thick dough like consistency.

8. Spread the mixture around the bottom and sides of the greased baking tray using the back of a metal spoon. Try to ensure the base is evenly spread.

9. Now to make the filling…. melt the coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat.

10. While the coconut oil is melting, in a bowl, mix together the almond flour, cocoa powder and coconut sugar.

11. Blend the eggs, dried apricots, 4 of the fresh apricots and melted coconut oil in the food processor. When you have a smooth consistency, then add the dry ingredient mix and blend.

12. Add the wet mixture into the tray over the pressed oat base, and decorate the top with 2 sliced apricots.

13. Bake in the oven for 55 minutes at 150 deg C. When cooked, you can serve immediately for a soft warm tart, or leave to cool for at least an hour for a crunchy firm tart.

If you are hosting a dinner party, this is the perfect after dinner treat to spoil your guests with. A thin slice is enough as it is so rich. It also goes well after a small goats cheese and fig salad for lunch! 

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Chocolate, banana and chlorella cake

By October 8, 2014 Recipes
Chocolate, banana and chlorella cake

The unusual green addition to this chocolate delight may seem almost too healthy at first glance, however the healthy cake mix somehow blends really well! The combination of ingredients may confuse your taste buds at first, but then the smooth chocolate and banana combination in a delicate yet rich textured cake kick in, making the taste experience quite unique!

These chocolate cakes are ridiculously rich in antioxidants. Not only do the usual healthy ingredients of cocoa and banana contain so much goodness, the addition of chlorella really gives them a healthy boost. Chlorella is a single cell green algae. Yes, you heard it right, I have invented an algae chocolate cake! So, if you aren’t keen on downing a glass of green juice or algae powder, having the nutritional benefits wrapped up in a chocolate cake is certainly the best way to sneak the goodness into your diet if you are brave enough to deviate from the norm. Chlorella is particularly rich in vitamin B12 and iron, therefore a perfect nutritional hit for a vegetarian or vegan who may be lacking in these important vitamins and minerals which are essential for blood health and energy levels.

Chlorella and choc 2

Ingredients (makes 6 small cakes): 

  • 60g coconut oil
  • 50g almond flour (100% ground almonds)
  • 50g spelt flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 medium ripe bananas (approx 200g)
  • 30g agave nectar
  • 30g cacao (or cocoa) powder
  • 3g dried chlorella granules (I use ‘Organic burst chlorella powder‘. 
  • 1 tbsp almond flakes

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C, and grease a cake tray with 1 tsp. coconut oil. I recommend using this temperature, as almonds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fats can be ruined if heated too high.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Coconut oil is heat stable and also full of powerful immune-boosting fatty acids such as lauric acid, therefore is great to use when frying foods.

3.While the coconut oil is melting, in a large bowl, sieve and mix the almond flour, spelt flour and baking powder, and put this to one side. It is especially important to sieve the baking powder, as this can otherwise form lumps. Sieving gives a more even and lighter texture to the chocolate cake.

4. In a blender, add the eggs, bananas, agave nectar, melted coconut oil, and blend well.

5. Pour approximately 1/3 of the mixture out of the blender and into a bowl (leaving the remaining 2/3 of the mixture in the blender.

6. Add the chlorella granules to the mixture in the bowl, and stir through until the green chlorella colour is consistent throughout.

7. In the blender, add the cocoa to the mix and blend.

8. Pour the cocoa mix from the blender evenly into 6 of the muffin tray sections. Next, pour the green chlorella mix over the top (should be approximately 1 tbsp. per cake) ensuring that it covers any chocolate showing.

9. Sprinkle a few almond flakes over the top of the cakes for a moist and crunchy healthy topping.

10. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes at 160 deg C. When cooked, leave the cakes to cool for 10 minutes before taking out of the muffin baking tray to allow them to set.

Surprise your guests at a dinner party with this daring alternative chocolate cake, and tell them after their first bite that they are eating algae the tasty way! 

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Vegan banana bread

By September 12, 2014 Recipes
Vegan banana bread

Banana bread is always moist and sweet, but a vegan banana bread filled with healthy ground seeds really adds to the satisfaction you get with every bite. It goes great with a cup of tea in the morning, especially chai tea!

This banana bread is full of real fruit, wholegrains and good fats including omega-3, so it is completely different to the usual high refined carbohydrate content banana breads you can typically buy in a cafe. The omega-3, magnesium and iron content of the healthy chia seeds and tahini (sesame seed paste) really give this banana bread a health boost, particularly good for brain health. The coconut oil used in this recipe is another great ingredient to include as it is heat stable (i.e. still healthy when baked) and it can promote fat metabolism, helping you to burn more fat. What more can you ask for from a slice of banana bread!?

DSC_1446

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 35g (3 tbsp.) white chia seeds (they come as white or black)
  • 200ml oat milk (choose one with no added nasty ingredients. ‘Oatly organic’ is a good one).
  • 80g (approx 20) dates
  • 50g coconut oil
  • 3 ripe bananas (when they start having dark spots on, this is ideal)
  • 50g tahini
  • 200g wholegrain spelt flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C, and prepare an oven tray with grease proof paper, or alternatively grease with 1 tsp. coconut oil. I recommend using this temperature, as chia seeds and sesame seeds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 fats can be ruined if heated too high.

2. Grind the chia seeds (in a spice / coffee grinder) for a few seconds. Blend the dry ground chia seeds into the oat milk in a blender.

3. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on a low / medium heat.

4. While the coconut oil is melting, chop the dates roughly into quarters.

5. Add the chopped dates and melted coconut oil to to the mix in the blender, and blend for a few minutes until the dates are in small pieces.

6. Add 2 bananas and the tahini to the mix, and blend.

7. In a large bowl, sieve the spelt flour and baking powder, mix and stir well. It is especially important to sieve the baking powder, as this can otherwise form lumps. Sieving gives a more even and lighter texture to the banana bread.

8. Pour the blended liquid mix into the large bowl containing the dry ingredients and mix well.

9. Pour the mix into the baking tray and add 1 thinly sliced banana over the top.

10. bake in the oven at 160 deg C for 50 minutes.

11. Once the banana bread is baked, take it out the oven and leave on a rack to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Brew a nice cup of tea, put your feet up and enjoy your delicious satisfying healthy creation!

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Raspberry paleo pancakes

By August 18, 2014 Recipes
Raspberry paleo pancakes

Everyone likes pancakes for breakfast right? These pink beauties are full of health boosting ingredients, and they taste absolutely delicious. I love to eat pancakes while knowing they are doing my body good. If you have 15 minutes in the morning, whip these up for a healthy treat.

These paleo pancakes are a great source of protein from the eggs and nuts, and the raspberries contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin K which are essential to immune health. As a bonus, they are also gluten free and dairy free. Unlike standard refined carbohydrate based pancakes, this healthy version is actually low in carbohydrates, so can really help to keep your hunger at bay. If you start off the day with a high protein and high fat (good fats) meal, this may reduce your appetite throughout the day, making it easy to skip that morning biscuit snack. 

Ingredients (makes 3 small pancakes – serves 1): 

For the pancakes:

  • 1 egg
  • 50g of raspberries (a handful)
  • 3 tbsp almond flour (100% ground almonds)
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil

For the topping:

  • 100g raspberries (2 handfuls)
  • 1 tbsp almond flakes

1. Blend the egg, 50g of raspberries and almond flour in a food processor for a thick yet runny consistency.

2. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan on a medium heat. Coconut oil is heat stable and also full of powerful immune-boosting fatty acids such as lauric acid, therefore is great to use when frying foods.

3. Split the pancake mixture into 3 equal parts and pour onto the pan to make 3 small pancakes. Fry the pancakes on a medium heat for approx 3-5 minutes until they are holding together, and then turn them over gently to cook the other side for a further 3 minutes. I recommend frying on a medium heat, as almonds are not heat stable above 180 deg C, so the healthy omega-3 fats can be ruined if heated too high. Frying on a high heat would reach temperatures over 200 deg C.

4. While the pancakes are cooking, add the raspberries and a dash of water to a small pan, and cook on a low heat, stirring occasionally.

5. Serve the pancakes with the stewed raspberries poured over the top, and the almond flakes for a moist and crunchy healthy topping.

Why not get creative next time… you can play around with pancake recipes, using banana in place of raspberries, and different types of ground nuts such as hazelnuts. Add 1 tsp. of (unsweetened) cocoa powder if you like chocolate flavour. Cocoa is a great source of iron and antioxidants called flavonoids.

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