Honey and Pecan Cookies

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These cookies are incredibly simple to make and work really well for lunch boxes or as a quick snack if you are on the go. Equally, these make a great afternoon pick me up with a cup of tea with friends or as a cheeky little dessert if you fancy something sweet after dinner.

I make a couple of batches of these a week. Oli and Amelie LOVE them so we do get through them quite quickly. Just as a quick note – when I’m making up the cookie mixture I put a little bit of it aside before I add the pecans so that Amelie (20 months old) can have the cookies minus the crunchy pecans.

They are so delicious and I’m currently munching on one before heading off to the gym. They make a great snack prior to a work out just to keep your energy levels up.

Ingredients

3 ripe bananas

4 tablespoons of cashew or almond nut butter (Meridian Foods http://www.meridianfoods.co.uk or Pip & Nut butter http://www.pipandnut.com or you can make your own)

5 tablespoons of raw organic honey

1 tablespoon of raw organic cold pressed coconut oil

1 & 1/2 mugs of organic oats

1/2 mug of pecans

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Mash up the bananas in a mixing bowl. Once they are mashed add the nut butter, honey & coconut oil and give the mixture a good stir. Then add your oats and pecans. At this point grease up a baking tray or two with coconut oil. If you are making the cookies for little ones don’t add the pecans or spoon out a little of the mixture before adding the nuts. Next, spoon out a heaped tablespoon of mixture at a time on to the baking tray forming little cookie shapes. Make sure the cookie shapes are nice and compact, if you want larger cookies you can add mixture to your cookies a little bit at a time. The mixture should be quite gooey. I usually make about 15 cookies out of this mix. Place in the oven for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Remember, all the ingredients in these cookies are clean, unrefined, unprocessed, additive-free foods. They are also dairy-free and my oats are gluten-free. Please check all your ingredients and know exactly what you are putting in to your body. Some brands are fantastic at marketing but aren’t always good for you! These cookies are packed with good fats, vitamins, fibre and plant protein which will keep you energised and aid your digestive system. So please enjoy, guilt-free : )

Lea xxxx

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Easy Peasy Pancakes

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

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

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

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.

Stock Up On Cupboard Staples

Stock Up On Cupboard Staples
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Pumpkin Seeds

I hallmarked Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings as new blog update days but it seems Amelie picks up a new illness every week at the moment. A new bug means sleepless nights and long days for me, and inevitably I end up catching it too. Oli joked that she’s not allowed to go to any baby groups and socialise anymore, I think he was joking… So, I apologise for the lack of posts recently. I have been working on a few new recipes so I look forward to sharing those with you over the next week or two.

I do love hearing from people who read my blog, message me asking for advice and those that try my recipes and let me know how they got on. A few people recently have asked for a shopping list and advice on where to buy ingredients so that they can stock up on a few essentials. I think a good idea could be an online shop (Amazon or Buy Whole Foods Online) and buying some bits in bulk as supermarkets tend to sell small packets at more of a cost. There are some ingredients that I get through very quickly so it works out cheaper and your ingredients will last longer that way. Below are some ingredients I use a lot in my recipes.

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Things I would buy in bulk online are:

Coconut Oil (make sure it’s raw, organic, and cold pressed – Lucy Bee, Biona, Tiana)

Oats (make sure nothing is added to them)

Almonds

Ground Almonds

Pecans

Pumpkin Seeds

Cacoa Powder

Chia Seeds

Other things you can pick up in the supermarket gradually or when you’re making a specific recipe:

Almond Milk (Rude Health is free from additives, others might not be so do check) – or any other plant-based milk

Eggs

Sweet Potato

Spinach

Bananas

Oranges/Mandarins

Berries

Lemons

Medjool Dates

Sunflower Seeds

Flaked Almonds

Pine Nuts

Brown Rice

Chickpeas

If you go to my ingredients page there is a more comprehensive list of ingredients you can add to your shopping list. Sometimes it’s good just to get a little bit of inspiration before you head out to do a food shop!

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Cupboard essentials

I hope this is useful in some way. Have a fantastic week and hopefully I’ll have a new recipe up on Wednesday night for you : ) In the meantime, let me know what you struggle with when trying to eat healthy foods – snacks, meal ideas, lunches etc!

Lea  x

Nutmeg Pecan Granola

Nutmeg Pecan Granola
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Nutmeg Pecan Granola

I can’t believe I haven’t made granola until now! I love granola but shop bought granola is filled with so much refined sugar and other additives. This is so easy to make and if you make a big batch and put it in an airtight container it will last a few weeks. If you do make a batch of it you have a really easy and healthy breakfast on hand for when time is tight. You can add almond milk for a delicious cereal in the morning or add it to natural yogurt and berries for a delicious snack or dessert. Full of protein, omega-3 and vitamin E, not to mention other great mineral sources, and the slow burning fibre in the oats will ensure you’re full until lunch! I will be having this tomorrow morning : )

Ingredients

1 cup of pecans

1/2 cup of almonds

1/2 cup of hazelnuts

1/2 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1 cup of oats

4 tablespoons of honey

2 tablespoons of coconut oil

2 teaspoons nutmeg

Method

This is so easy to make and sooo yummy. Melt the coconut oil in a pan on a medium heat and then add the honey. Take off the heat and literally just add all the dry ingredients and stir until it is covered in the sticky mixture. Transfer the mixture to a baking tray and bake for 20 minutes on 180c. Make sure you give the ingredients a stirred so that all the mixture gets toasted and make sure it doesn’t burn.

Take from the oven and allow to cool. Once cooled you can transfer to an airtight container.

I hope you like!

Sugar and Gluten Free Mandarin Cake

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

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

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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