Pecan Nutbutter

I have no idea why I haven’t made this before, but I think it is one of the best things I’ve made for a while! This is pecan nutbutter. So simple and so delicious. I definitely don’t think I’ve made enough though, as every time I’ve passed the jar of it in the kitchen I’ve been spooning it straight in to my mouth. Haha.

This will be a pretty short blog post as it’s so simple to make. Here’s what you will need to make this yourselves – pecans, coconut sugar and a food processor.
Ingredients 

1.5 cups of pecans

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
Method 

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Spread pecans across a baking tray and put in the oven to roast for about 8-10 minutes. Take out of the oven and allow to cool down.

Once they have cooled place pecans in the food processor and whizz around until they crumble. Then add the coconut sugar. Whizz around again until the mixture is beginning to become more wet in consistency. Depending on how powerful your food processor is it should blend together for about 3 minutes. Stop blending once it is completely blended and smooth and runny in consistency. That is literally it!

Providing you don’t eat this in one sitting it should last a week in an airtight container. There’s no nasties in this so you know exactly what you’re eating. Pecans are a great antioxidant and help to prevent the hardening of arteries.They are rich in healthy fats (oleic acid) with plenty of B3 so perfect at combating fatigue, if you’re feeling the slump reach for the nutbutter!

Enjoy and let me know if you make this – tag me in your creations, comment on one of my posts and feel free to let me know of any questions you might have. I’m already thinking about all the things I’m going to add it to or eat it on : )

Lots of love and light

Lea xx

Naturallea-VITL Chocolate Cookies 

So, I teamed up with VITL to come up with a few recipes incorporating their VITL Greens superfood powder. Their superfood powder is fantastic as it is a plant-based blend of 16 nutrient dense super foods and it comes in a handy sachet that can easily be added to smoothies, soups, sauces and even cookies!

I’ve already added the super convenient sachet to smoothies, a ratatouille type sauce I made and had with pasta and now I’ve discovered it goes amazingly well in this cookie creation I’ve just made. And already demolished (not entirely by myself), ha.

Full of protein, iron, calcium, zinc, copper and potassium these cookies are bursting with goodness and make a great post-workout snack, or just as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea. Which is exactly what I did this afternoon.

Enjoy, and be sure to let me know if you make them.

Lea xx

 

Ingredients 

2 sachets of VITL Greens

3 large ripe bananas

3 tablespoons of coconut oil (also a little for greasing the baking tray)

4 tablespoons of cacao powder

4 tablespoons of maple syrup

3 cups of oats

3 tablespoons of almond butter 

Method

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan, once melted add the cacao powder to the saucepan and make sure both ingredients are nicely combined and smooth. Mash the bananas in a separate large mixing bowl. Then add the maple syrup, coconut oil/cacao mix, VITL Greens sachets and almond butter to the banana mix and ensure it’s all combined. Finally add the oats to the wet ingredients and make sure it’s completely combined and gooey.

Grease your baking tray with coconut oil. Next you’ll need to spoon out the mixture and form round cookie like shapes in your hands and put on to the baking tray. You can squish the mixture a little bit once it is on the tray to ensure they are all evenly spread. The cookies can be as large or as small as you like. I made 12 cookies. Once you’ve transferred all your mixture to your baking tray they can go in the oven for 15-17 minutes. Once you take them out the oven leave to cool and set for 5 minutes.

Voilà!

Raw Blueberry Cheesecake

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I make several variations of this cheesecake but at the moment Amelie (my two year old) is obsessed with blueberries. So this was created just for her really. If you’re new to my blog, I try to limit the amount of refined sugar, dairy, wheat, chemicals and nasty saturated fats (by no means do I mean avocados or carbs) in all the foods we eat as a family, particularly her food. This recipe is a much healthier alternative and I know every single ingredient I am putting in to this dessert. The maple syrup is 100% organic maple syrup, the oats are organic and gluten free and there is no dairy whatsoever. If you have a nut allergy then this isn’t for you, sorry!

All you need to make this cheesecake is a food processor, a freezer, a 7×7 inch cake tin with a loose bottom. Oh and the ingredients listed below as well as 20 minutes to spare.

Ingredients for blueberry topping

Frozen blueberries – 1 cup
Melted coconut oil – 1 tablespoon
Almond milk – 1/4 cup
Chia seeds – 1 tablespoon

Method

Throw all ingredients in to a saucepan, stirring the mixture together over the heat for roughly 5 minutes. Do not let the mixture boil. Pour the mixture in to a separate bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and leave to one side until later.

Ingredients for the base

Blanched almonds – 1 cup
Oats – 1/2 cup
Dates – 1/3 cup
Maple syrup – 1 tablespoon
Coconut sugar – 2 tablespoons
Coconut oil -1/4 cup

Method

Blitz the almonds and oats together in the food processor. In a separate bowl mix the remaining ingredients and then massage those ingredients together with your hands and it should start to caramelise. Once it starts mushing together wack that in the food processor with the almonds and oats and blitz again. Pour the mixture in to a 7×7 inch tin (round or square your choice). Push the mixture firmly down in to the tin with the back of a spoon, make sure it’s really compact and then put in the freezer whilst you make the next section.

Ingredients for cheesecake mixture

Overnight soaked cashews – 2 cups
Water – 6 tablespoons
Maple syrup – 1/4 cup
Melted coconut oil – 1/3 cup
Lemon – 1 tablespoon

Drain the cashews from their overnight soak and then blast in the food processor until mushy. Add the water, lemon,  coconut oil, and maple syrup and blitz again until nicely combined.

Take your base out of the freezer and sprinkle some fresh blueberries on top of the base. Then pour your cashew cheesecake mix over the top. Next splodge your blueberry sauce (mixture that you left to one side) over the top and put back in to the freezer for at least 4 hours. Take out the freezer, leave for 15 minutes before cutting in to sections. This cake needs to be stored in the freezer, however I do like to take mine out the freezer about 15 – 20 minutes before I’m going to eat it as it just tastes better that way. If it’s too frozen you can’t taste the flavours as well.

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If you make this let me know how you get on. Any feedback is appreciated.

Take care of yourselves – eat well, sleep well, get fresh air and drink plenty of water!

Love

Lea xxx

Easy Peasy Pancakes

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•PANCAKES•

I seriously LOVE these pancakes. I saw a similar recipe a while back and I’ve been making variations ever since. The core ingredients of this pancake is one mashed banana and one egg. Sometimes I add cinnamon to the mixture, sometimes mashed raspberries, just depends how I feel and what’s in the cupboards. Really quick, really easy and really tasty!!

Recipe

Mash one banana in a bowl, fold in 1 egg to the banana mix, add a teaspoon of cinnamon (if you fancy). Melt a spoonful of coconut oil in a pan. Add pancake mixture to the pan, cook on both sides. Plate it up, add a drizzle of lemon, (sometimes I also add a drizzle of 100% maple syrup), dollop or drizzle on cashew nut butter (@meridianfoods or @pipandnut or make your own) & then berries of your choice 👌

You’ll be making these all the time. You’re welcome 🙂

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Flapjacks

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These flapjacks make a fantastic snack, are great for lunch boxes and go brilliantly with a cup of tea. They are full of fibre and plant protein and are refined sugar-free and also gluten-free. I make various versions of these flapjacks depending on what I have in the cupboards. I sometimes make them with nuts and seeds but mostly I try to cater them for my 19 month old daughter so tend to leave the nuts out.

Ingredients

3 mugs of oats
3 mashed bananas
5 tablespoons of cashew nut butter (I use Meridian or Pip & Nut or you can easily make your own)
4 tablespoons maple syrup
4 tablespoons coconut oil, plus extra for greasing
2 tablespoons of raisins

Preheat the oven to 200°C (fan 180°C).

Mash the bananas with a fork and add them to a saucepan with the maple syrup, nut butter and coconut oil. Allow ingredients to simmer gently on the hob  until it liquidises.

Pour the oats and raisins into the mixture and stir well so that they are all covered.

Grease a baking tray with some coconut oil. Transfer the mixture into the baking tray, press down firmly with the back of a spoon or spatula so that it’s tightly compact.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until you see the top slightly browning.

Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing the flapjacks up. Enjoy with a cup of tea and your feet up!

Xx

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Banana, date and cashew nut butter shake

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I have a lot of smoothies throughout the week and sometimes it’s nice just to mix them up a bit. Lots of people ask for smoothie inspiration so I thought I’d share this little gem with you. It’s so sweet it will make a great afternoon pick-me up, sweet dessert treat, or if you’ve been up half the night with your children (or partying) a sweet healthy shake will kick start your day!

This shake provides a great source of fibre, potassium, protein and magnesium. Magnesium is such an overlooked mineral, yet most of us are deficient in it. When my hair was falling out after I stopped breastfeeding I was recommended to take a magnesium supplement or better still try to get it from the foods I was eating. Hence the overhaul of the foods I was eating,  because I wasn’t fuelling my body very well.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
6 medjool dates
1 1/2 cups of almond milk (rude health http://rudehealth.com/)
2 teaspoons of cashew nut butter (meridian foods http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk/)
2 teaspoons of cacao powder

Optional – 1 teaspoon of maca powder (organic burst http://www.organicburst.com/)

Literally throw it all in to the blender for a few minutes just make sure you take the stones out the dates and slice the banana first. Also makes sure your almond milk is cold, this makes it extra refreshing! Takes 3 minutes max to make.

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Sugar, gluten, and dairy free oat and honey cake

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Oat & Honey Cake

After being inspired by a cake my friend made I decided to make one myself but give it the Naturallea touch. I wanted to really pack this cake with goodness and make it quite filling so I could grab a slice whilst on the go. I say whilst on the go because between moving house and redecorating – my Mummy duties have been pushed to the max with a poorly bubba that is doing a great job at building up her immune system (she picks up a new bug every week). She is also now on the move, wanting to be independent and get to places herself, feed herself, play by herself and yet she doesn’t want to sleep by herself. *yawns*

If like me, you need an indulgent treat that will also give you a vitamin and mineral boost then this cake is for you. Bursting with zinc, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E and fibre, this cake will really fill you up, aide your digestive function and strengthen your immune system.

Ingredients

2 ripe bananas
4 tablespoons of honey
1 tablespoon of melted coconut oil (also a teaspoon of coconut oil for lining your cake tin)
1 1/2 cups of oats
1/2 cups of brown rice flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Handful of pumpkin seeds
Handful of sunflower seeds
Handful of pecans
Handful of goji berries

Method

Firstly preheat your oven to 190 degrees and line your cake tin with the coconut oil. Then in a mixing bowl use a hand blender to smooth the bananas and 3 tablespoons of the honey together. Add the oats, the rice flour, the baking powder and the melted coconut oil to the bowl and a quick blast with the blender. Stir in the rest of your ingredients and once well combined pour the mixture in to your cake tin. Place in the oven on the middle shelf for a maximum of 40 minutes. After 30 minutes drizzle another tablespoon of honey over the top of your cake. Place back in to the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Check your cake by putting a clean knife into the cake, if it comes out clean then it is ready. Do not over cook as the cake will dry out. Leave to cool on a wire cooling rack.

Sugar and Gluten Free Mandarin Cake

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Mandarin Cake

I love this sugar and gluten-free mandarin cake but I have to admit it does divide opinion in our household. I love the fact that it’s moist and light, where as others aren’t quite so convinced. It can take some time for your taste buds to adjust to a refined sugar-free diet, we are so used to refined sugar in most our foods that we are completely addicted. This cake isn’t for a sweet fix, but it does serve as a great guilt-free 11am or 3pm snack with a cup of tea, you know that snack you need to keep you tied over till lunch or dinner. When you start taking out refined sugar from your diet it will be tough, and as a former sugar addict I found it tough. But I promise you, when you stick with it a processed chocolate bar will taste so sweet and manufactured. I know, hard to believe! And when I talk about taking refined sugar from your diet I’m not encouraging any fad diets or anything. Quite the opposite. I want you to eat in abundance, if you’re eating healthy, unprocessed foods your body will love you for it.

Ingredients

3 mandarins

2 and a half cups ground almond

6 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon baking powder

Serve with natural yogurt, flaked almonds and a drizzle of honey

Method

Peel the mandarins and put the segments in to a saucepan. Cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, once bubbling lower the temperature to a simmer and allow to simmer for an hour. Take off the heat and drain the excess water, allow to cool. Turn the oven on to 180 degrees and line a baking tin (I line my tin with a smidge of coconut oil). I then use a hand blender to blitz the mandarin, pith, skin and all. Add the remaining ingredients to the mandarin mix and blitz with the hand blender again. Once all the ingredients are blended add the mixture to the cake tin and place in the oven. Put in the oven to bake for one hour, however, after half an hour take out and cover with tin foil and place back in the oven. This is to ensure the top of the cake doesn’t burn. When you take out the oven  leave in the baking tin to cool. This keeps the cake lovely and moist. Once cool take out, serve with some natural yogurt, flaked almonds and a drizzle of honey and enjoy with a cup of tea!

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Mandarin Cake

Chocolatey Banana and Pecan Bites

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Chocolatey banana and pecan bites

 

A sickness bug swept through our household like wildfire on Wednesday.  There’s nothing quite like looking after a poorly baby when you are ill yourself. It really takes being ill to another level when your child’s needs are far more important than your own. I had projectile vomit in my face three times throughout the night. That’s three changes of bed sheets, three changes of pj’s for me and also Amelie and three face scrubs. My Mum’s response was “well least it was Amelie’s sick and not Oli’s”. True. For anyone that doesn’t know my partner he is 6ft 3 and is in to his fitness and food. The amount he eats in a day is unfathomable.  *shudders*

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with healthy eating… Well, today I woke up feeling a lot better and definitely had my appetite back. I had successfully managed to hold down breakfast and lunch and was beginning to crave something sweet! My auntie Ali was visiting late afternoon so I thought it was the perfect excuse to bake something.

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Chocolatey banana and pecan bites

 

My auntie Ali did ask me for the recipe so I think it went down well and it certainly fulfilled my sweet craving.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas
1 cup spelt flour
2 tablespoons of organic cacao powder
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
3 tablespoons of honey
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 egg
1/2 cup of pecans
1 teaspoon of coconut oil

Method

Firstly, set the oven to 180 degrees.  Slice the ripe bananas into a deep baking bowl and use a hand blender to smooth. Add the spelt flower and the cacao powder to the banana and blend again until mixed. Add the rest of the ingredients to your mix but keep the pecans to one side. Ensure all the ingredients are mixed well together, lastly add the pecans to the mix.
Line your baking tin with about a teaspoon of coconut oil (probably slightly less than that) and then pour your mixture in to the tin. Put in the oven. After about 30 minutes turn the oven down to 150 degrees and bake for a further 20 minutes or until cooked. Check that it is cooked by putting a metal knife in to the cake, if the knife comes out clean then it is cooked.

Leave the cake to cool before slicing in to bite size pieces. Then sit back and enjoy with a cup of tea : )

Xx

Healthy Pancakes

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Spinach, banana and oat Pancakes

These pancakes are delicious, and with Pancake Day fast approaching you can indulge as much as you like because they are full of goodness.
Made from oats, banana and spinach, so if you eat too many of these the only thing you’ll be gaining is nutrients! I love these pancakes, and they really do taste better than they look and sound.

Spinach is packed full of health boosting nutrients – one cup of spinach gives you TEN TIMES your recommended daily amount of vitamin K. I had never really heard of vitamin K until Amelie was born, and then suddenly I was very aware of how important it was. It helps keep your bones strong and healthy and maintains healthy blood sugar regulation. It’s also packed with vitamin A which helps to build your body’s immunity against infection as well as promoting strong and healthy skin, hair and nails! Other nutrients include iron, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, potassium, B vitamins, fibre and protein all working to keep your body healthy and disease free.

Serves 6 pancakes

-1 banana
– 1 egg
– 2 tablespoons of organic oats
– 1 handful of spinach
– 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon of baking powder (get gluten free)
– 1 teaspoon of coconut oil ( for cooking)

Topping
– 2 tablespoons of natural yogurt
– some blueberries
– some raspberries
– a drizzle of 100% maple syrup (check nothing nasty has been added)

Slice the banana and put into a blender or food processor. Add the oats, spinach, cinnamon, baking powder, and egg to the blender and whizz for a minute or two.

In a frying pan you need to melt the coconut oil on a medium to high heat. Add roughly two tablespoons of your pancake mix to the frying pan. The mixture isn’t as runny as your normal pancake mix so with the back of the spoon you’ll need to spread the mixture a little. However, don’t spread the mixture too thinly. When the pancakes are bubbling, flip them over.

You then need to top your pancakes with yogurt, berries and maple syrup. So tasty – enjoy!!!

I’ll be making these on Pancake Day : )

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