Category: Recipes

Healthy Banana Split

Healthy Banana Split

Something that’s really hard to balance when you’re trying to eat healthy is that end of a meal slump when you want something sweet but not so sweet it’ll spike your blood sugar. This is where these beauties come in! I used to eat banana splits a lot as a child, piling them high with sweets, ice cream and chocolate, but now I’ve found a way to make them healthy and just as delicious! Start with a banana and some yogurt (whatever variety you like) and then you can top that with whatever you want. Personally I like a mixture of fresh fruit with some nuts and a little bit of super-dark chocolate, but you can top yours with whatever you fancy – which is partly what makes it so good!

Recipe

Serves 1

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Banana
  • 3 tbsp Greek Yogurt (or yogurt of choice)
  • 1 Passion fruit
  • A handful of fresh Berries (I went for strawberries and raspberries)
  • 1 Chunk (about 50g) of 100% cocoa chocolate
  • A few Coconut flakes
  • 1 tsp Runny honey
  • Optional extras (granola, nuts, melted chocolate, peanut butter, ice cream etc)

Method

  1. Peel and then slice your banana in half and splay out on a plate or in a bowl.
  2. Spoon the yogurt generously over the top, sandwiching the two banana halves.
  3. Prepare your fruit toppings, for example halve the passion fruit and scoop out the seeds and then hull the strawberries. Scatter the fruit over the top.
  4. Grate the chocolate over the top of this, sprinkle over the coconut flakes and finish with a drizzle of honey. Add any extras you want to the mixture and the enjoy!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

 

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Walnut Falafels with Beetroot Hummus

Walnut Falafels with Beetroot Hummus

This summer I’ve been on a healthy food pilgrimage – slowly crawling towards finding enough tasty meals that will benefit my waistline, whilst also keeping my culinary fancies happy. So you could say I was pleased as punch when I first discovered beetroot hummus. I never thought I’d be one for messing around with the wonder that is traditional hummus – why mess with perfection right? But this stuff is really cool. It’s kind of earthy, rich hummus with the most incredible colour. I mean can you be sad when you have something this bright on your plate? The artist in me is very, very happy with this.

There is also this massive trend at the moment for making falafels out of everything left right and centre. Name an ingredient, someone somewhere has probably tried making a falafel out of it. Millennials and vegans eh? Anyway, the other day I had some beetroot hummus on this amazing spicy aubergine dish and they served it all with a walnut sauce – something I’ve never tried before but it was really good! So I thought hey, why not make some walnut falafel to go with my pinker than pink hummus? And boy jove, it works!

Recipe

Serves 2 (with lots of hummus left over!)

Time: 1 hour

Ingredients

For the Falafel

  • 1 Small onion or shallot
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 75g Walnuts
  • 150g Chickpeas
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • ½ tsp Paprika
  • 1 Small egg (or a 50/50 mixture of water and oil if you want to make these vegan)
  • Salt and pepper to season

For the Hummus

  • 250g Raw Beetroot (about 2 small beetroot)
  • 400g Chickpeas, drained
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp Ground cumin
  • A large pinch of Salt

To serve

  • A handful of Rocket leaves
  • A sprinkling of Feta cheese

Method

  1. Begin by making the falafel. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Chop the ends off the shallot and garlic, peel and then the finely chop them.
  3. Put half the oil into a small pan and put over a medium heat. Add the chopped onion and fry for 2-3 minutes until starting to caramelise. Then add the garlic and fry for another couple of minutes before taking off the heat.
  4. Tip the onion, garlic and walnuts into a food processor and blitz until coarse. Add the chickpeas, cumin, lemon zest and paprika and blitz again until the chickpeas are just broken down and the mixture is coming together – you want it to be more breadcrumb-like in texture than like a puree.
  5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and pulse again to mix. Then add the egg and pulse to bring the mixture together as a dough.
  6. Divide the mixture into 10 small balls. Place these onto a lined baking tray and then leave in the fridge to chill for at least half an hour.
  7. When ready to bake take the falafels out of the fridge, drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and then put into the oven to bake for 20 minutes, until golden brown and crisp.
  8. Meanwhile make the hummus. Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add the beetroot and then leave to simmer for 30-40 minutes until tender. Drain the water from the beetroot and leave to cool.
  9. When cool enough to handle take off the roots, stalks and peel the beetroot. Then roughly chop the flesh and put it into a food processor.
  10. Add the chickpeas, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper into the processor and then blend until smooth and creamy. Taste the mixture and if needed season with some extra salt, pepper, paprika or cumin.
  11. Serve the warm falafels with a dollop of the hummus, a sprinkling of feta and some fresh rocket!

Note: this also works really well as a wrap for eating on the go! Just layer up the hummus, rocket, nuts, feta in a line on a wholemeal wrap. Then crush and sprinkle over pieces of the warm falafel and roll up!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Wholegrain Crackers with Homemade Hazelnut Butter and Strawberries

Last week I made some delicious hazelnut butter, now it’s time for something to it with! I’ve found it really good as a sandwich filler, a porridge topper and a yoghurt pal, however if you want to make something specific to pair with your creation look no further than these delicious wholegrain crackers.  These can taste a little bland on their own, but they’re the perfect carrier for all kinds of toppings from caramel, to nutella to this nut butter.

I’ve also found by topping it all with some fresh berries you can end up bringing some sweetness to the package which makes a great little healthy, filling snack!

Recipe

Makes 18 biscuits

Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients

For the crackers

  • 160g Whole-wheat flour
  • 55g Sesame seeds
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • 60ml Olive oil
  • 4-5 tbsp Water

To top

  • 3 tbsp Homemade nut butter (see last week’s recipe for how to make your own!)
  • 4 Fresh Strawberries
  • A few Mint leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Begin by making the crackers. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C and line two baking trays with baking paper.
  2. Mix the flour, sesame seeds and salt in a large bowl. Then add the oil and mix it in with a fork to make a crumbly texture. Add the water and then mix with your hands until a smooth dough comes together.
  3. Roll the dough out between two sheets of baking paper until the thickness of a 1p coin. Cut rounds out of the dough with a cookie cutter, transferring the crackers to your lined trays as you do. Make sure to space them out enough so they’re not touching.
  4. Bake the crackers in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and crisp. Leave to cool completely.
  5. When cooled spread your nut butter over the crackers. Hull and slice the strawberries and arrange them on top of the crackers. Garnish with a little mint and then serve!

Alternatives:

Why not try topping the crackers and nut butter with…

  • Sliced banana and chocolate shavings
  • Fig quarters and a drizzle of honey
  • Raspberries and white chocolate

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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Nut Butter

Nut Butter

So, exciting news – in a few weeks I’ll be moving into a house with some friends for the next year of uni! Not only will this be a great chance to live a bit more independently from the comforts of college, but will also come with a gorgeous kitchen to go crazy in (seriously – it’s nicer than my kitchen at home!). Somehow I’ve ended up in a house full of some amazing international students, so it’s going to be really cool seeing all the different cultures and traditions coming out in the kitchen.

Over the past year my friend Kat has been telling me about all the things her family make from scratch back in Kuwait. They make their own bread, chocolate and even nut butters! Whilst this is fairly normal for them, however, in the UK we’re so used to buying everything pre-made from the shops. Recently I’ve become a lot more aware of all the processed foods I’m eating, so now with a summer of time on my hands I’m really keen to start making things from scratch myself – starting with some delicious nut butter!

The idea of making something from scratch that you’d normally get in a jar from Tesco can feel a bit pointless, but this is so so easy to make! Just grab some nuts, throw them in a food processor and 10 minutes later you have the smoothest, purest nut butter you can imagine – it’s even easier than going to the shops.

Recipe

Makes 1 Medium sized jar

Time: Around 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 400g Nuts of your choice (I went for hazelnuts)
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract
  • A pinch of Salt

Method

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200˚C. Place the nuts of your choice into a small roasting tin and roast in the oven for 5-8 minutes until starting to turn golden brown and smell (if your nuts have shells on them you’ll need to remove these first).
  2. If using skinned hazelnuts you’ll now need to remove the skins. To do this turn the roasted hazelnuts out onto a clean tea towel. Then fold the towel over them and roll the nuts around until most of the skins flake off.
  3. Tip the nuts into a food processor and blend on full power for 10-12 minutes until a smooth butter forms. It’ll take time but have patience!
  4. When smooth add the vanilla and salt and blend again for 30 seconds to mix.
  5. Transfer to a sterile jar or pot (see how-to below) and keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks!

How to Sterilise Jars

(Useful for jams, nut butters and chutneys)

  1.  Soak your jars (I find washed-out old jam jars the best for this as they’re made for purpose!) in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes and then rinse in clean water.
  2. Leave for 10-15 minutes on a drying wrack to partially air-dry.
  3. Pre-heat the oven to 140C.  Place the jars standing upright in a roasting tin and then heat them in the oven for 15 minutes.
  4. Leave to cool a little and then fill with your contents. (If filling with jam or chutney make sure to do this when the mixture is still hot and then place a wax disc on top to prevent mould from growing, before sealing with a lid – for nut butter you can get away with just using a lid).

Thanks for reading – keep an eye out for recipes you can use this delicious nut butter in,  coming soon!

Emma x

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Black Wild Rice, Cherry, and Rocket Salad

Black Wild Rice, Cherry, and Rocket Salad

Recently I’ve decided to try going on a detox again and this time I’m really going to try to get into the habit of healthy eating. I’ve said this before, however at the moment I’m not going away in the near future, I’m not being catered for and I’m free to really focus on what I’m eating, so I’m determined to make this work. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit and 90 days to make a lifestyle, so that’s what I’m aiming for! As of yet it’s going really well: I’ve started thinking out of the box and I’m now getting into the habit of making things that will nourish my body but also taste great. I am craving cake and would like nothing more than to make some danish pastries right now, but I’m standing strong and I’m hopeful that this time I won’t crack.  Something I experimented with the other day was this wild rice and cherry salad and I was chuffed with how well it worked. Delicious, filling and super quick to throw together!

Recipe

Serves 2

Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 100g Black wild rice
  • Roughly 8 Fresh cherries
  • 4 tbsp Puy lentils
  • 50g Feta cheese
  • A handful of Rocket

Method

  1. Fill a medium sized pan half way full with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the rice. Stir once and then leave on a gentle simmer until soft to preference.
  2. Meanwhile, halve and de-stone the cherries and leave to one side for now.
  3. Then put the puy lentils into a medium sized bowl and microwave for 20 seconds to gently warm through.
  4. Drain the rice and then add it to the bowl with the lentils. Stir gently to combine.
  5. Portion the rice out between your two plates. Arrange the halved cherries on top and then scatter over chunks of the feta cheese. Finish with a sprinkling of rocket leaves.

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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