I don’t go to Selfridges often, but when I do, I always buy a copy of Donna Hay’s Fresh and Light magazine. It’s a beautiful magazine and feels more like a book that a magazine. This quinoa, nut, fruit and seed loaf belongs to the ‘wholesome loaf’ series which consists of four loaves, including Peanut butter and banana loaf and Rhubarb, raspberry and coconut loaf which I will definitely be making.
This loaf makes a really healthy and filling breakfast and also a really tasty afternoon snack, which is why there was only half the loaf left for the picture!
40g sunflower seeds
40g pumpkin seeds
115g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
80g brazil nuts, roughly chopped
40g currants (I used dried cherries as I’m not a fan of currants)
180g cooked quinoa* (I used mixed quinoa and bulgur wheat)
60g coconut sugar (brown sugar would do)
2 teaspoons baking powder
280g Greek yoghurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
140g spelt flour, sifted
*90g uncooked quinoa makes 180g of cooked quinoa
- Preheat oven to 180C/ fan 160C/Gas Mark 4
- Place the sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts and brazil nuts in a dry frying pan over a medium heat until you can hear the seeds popping. Remove 80g and set aside for the topping. Put the rest in a large bowl.
- Add all the other ingredients to the large bowl and mix until well combined
- Put the mixture in a lined loaf tin. Scatter the seeds and nuts set aside earlier on to the top of the loaf and bake in the oven for 70 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool slightly in the tin before removing.
I’m still going to the gym and so I make a new batch of energy balls every week. These ones are particularly good. I know turmeric is a ‘thing’ right now, but if it even has half the benefits it’s supposed to have, I’m in! I’ve adapted the original recipe (see link below) to make them much more ‘lemony’ by doubling the amount of zest and adding an extra tablespoon of lemon juice. http://www.natalieshealth.com/2017/02/lemon-turmeric-energy-balls/
So now that I’ve perfected the recipe, I’ll just have to try not eat them all at once and still remember to go to the gym.
12 Medjool dates
1 tablespoon chia seeds
5 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
50g shredded coconut for dusting
- Remove the pits from dates and soak them in hot water for several minutes. When the dates are softened, drain them and place in food processor. Save the water.
- Add the other ingredients to a food processor and blend until mixture turns into a dough-like consistency. Add 1 tablespoon of the reserved soaking water if the mixture seems too dry.
- With a small spoon, scoop the mixture and roll into balls. Roll the balls in shredded coconut.
- Store energy balls in an airtight container in the refrigerator, they will keep for at least a week.
There was a time in my life when the sight of bananas with black speckled skins would have meant they were headed straight for the bin. Not anymore! Now that I know that the ugly black spots are a sign of the natural sweetness of the banana, they are headed straight into banana bread or in this case, healthy banana and oat muffins. I’ve had this recipe in my folder for a really long time and decided that this was the time to try it out. It comes from Kate Harrison’s book, The Ultimate 5:2 Diet Recipe Book (that’s why all the calories are there). I also recently went to a food styling workshop and so my pictures are a little bit different from my usual style. I wanted to try and capture the changing of the seasons, hence the conkers! (I won’t be eating the conkers but I might challenge C to a game!)
100g rolled oats, 355 cals
50g wholewheat flour, 155 cals
150g plain white flour, 503 cals
2 tsp baking powder, 10 cals
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 5 cals
¼ tsp salt
75g muscovado sugar, 300 cals
4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed 480 cals
1 large egg, beaten, 100 cals
4 tbsp light olive oil, 540 cals
2 tbsp pumpkin or sunflower seeds or a mix, 175–184 cals
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F/Gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
- Mix together the oats (keeping a tablespoon aside for the topping), flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and sugar.
- Mix together the mashed bananas, egg and oil and then pour into the dry oat and flour mix and fold together.
- Spoon into the prepared muffin cases and scatter the top of each muffin with the reserved oats and the seeds. Bake for 20–25 minutes, until brown and slightly springy to touch.
I’ve made a version of these healthy gym snacks before, but this is taking it to the next level. They are so easy to make it’s almost embarrassing! For me, the best part of these energy balls is the chocolate coating that I put on some of them. The coconut really lifts the richness of dates. The golden linseeds are full of omega-3 fatty acids, so you can feel virtuous as you eat these! They work out at about 133 calories per ball. The recipe comes the Waitrose weekly newspaper March, 2015.
(Makes about 20)
250g soft pitted dates
2 tablespoons golden linseed
100g cashew nuts
250g soft, dried apricots
2 tablespoons golden linseeds
200g dark chocolate (70%)
100g toasted chopped hazelnuts
75g desiccated coconut
To make the date balls
- Place the hazelnuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
- Add the dates and the linseeds and continue to blitz until the mixture has bound into a paste.
- With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on a tray lined with baking parchment.
To make the apricot balls
- Place the cashew nuts in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped.
- Add the apricots and the linseeds and continue to blitz until the mixture has bound into a paste.
- With wet hands, roll the mixture into balls and place on a tray with baking parchment. For the coating
To make the coatings
- Gently roast the hazelnuts in a dry frying pan.
- Blitz in the food processor until coarsely chopped, then put on a plate.
- Put the desiccated coconut onto another plate.
- Gently melt the dark chocolate in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Ideally, you don’t want the bowl to be touching the water. (I chop the chocolate and put it in the microwave for about 20 seconds)
- Dip each ball into the melted chocolate, then roll in the coconut or hazelnuts. Return to the tray lined with parchment paper and allow to set. Store in an airtight container.
Ok, so after all the madeleines I ate, here is the recipe for a really good salad. I actually eat a lot of salad in order to balance out the number of cakes! I had this salad just on its own as the tortillas make it fairly substantial but my partner had it with a piece of salmon. I’m not usually a fan of sweet corn, but this corn of the cob was sweet and crunchy, nothing like the tinned stuff. I loved the avocado, but the surprise star of this dish was the cashew nut cream. I used a red chilli in mine as I didn’t have a green one. The kale made me feel very virtuous before the melted cheese brought me back to reality. According to the recipe information, this salad has 500 calories per serving, just in case you are counting! You can find the original recipe in Sainsbury Magazine, August 2015.
Ingredients: serves 6
100g unsalted cashew nuts
6 soft wholemeal tortillas
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
200g curly kale
2 limes, plus extra for serving
2 green chillies
30g fresh coriander
2 sweetcorn on the cob
1 ripe avocado
100g mature Manchego cheese
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/ Gas Mark 7. Fill and boil a kettle.
- Put the cashews into a bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside.
- Stack tortillas and cut them in half, then into quarters, then into eighths, to make the tortilla shapes. Put them onto a large baking tray, making sure they don’t overlap too much, then drizzle with 2 tablespoons of oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and smoked paprika. Toss to coat evenly.
- Remove any tough stems from the kale. Spread it out on another large baking tray, grate over the zest of one of the limes, drizzle over the remaining oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Put both trays in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the kale is crisp and the tortillas are browned.
- Meanwhile, make the cashew cream. Drain the cashews and put them into the blender with the juice of the zested lime and a good pinch of salt. Roughly chop the chillies and add to the blender with the coriander stalks.
- Pour in 125ml water and blitz on high for 2 minutes to a smooth cream. Taste; add more salt and lime juice if it needs it.
- Cut the kernels from the cobs of corn with a sharp knife – rest it in a mixing bowl to do this. Stone and slice the avocado and squeeze over half the remaining lime juice.
- Preheat the grill to high. On your heatproof serving platter, scatter the crispy kale over the tortilla chips and grate over the cheese. Grill for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is beginning to bubble.
- Spoon on the cashew cream, scatter over the avocado, corn and coriander leaves. Serve with extra lime wedges.