Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Sometimes it’s really hard to wake up in the morning and once we are up even a cup of coffee can’t always help us to stay awake. Well, next time you have one of those mornings, try my fruit booster morning smoothie. It will definitely help your energy levels peak and it will also provide your body with some much-needed vitamins and microelements.

One thing to remember: quality over quantity! Good quality ingredients are becoming harder to come by. Low-quality food, including fruit and veggies, is cheap but at the same time worthless to our body. I know it might sound like a no brainier to some but always buy organic ingredients… yes, I know they cost more but we are what we eat… I think it is better by any measure to buy less of something and get to truly enjoy its real taste rather than a big plastic-wrapped bag of intensely farmed produce at a knocked down price. That’s not to mention the benefits obtained from eating healthy naturally grown foods. Thus ends the sermon, now what do we need for that pick me up smoothie…

Ingredients:

  • 250ml chilled coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large red grapefruit
  • 1 orange
  • 1 pear
  • 1 red apple
  • Ice cubes (optional)

A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.Method:

Wash and quarter the apple and pear.

Wash and peel the banana and orange then chop into smaller chunks.

Chop in half and remove all the red flesh from the grapefruit. If you have a sweet grapefruit or you don’t mind an abundance of zinginess you might just peel and chop it. I normally just add the fleshy parts without any of the white pith bits which separate the segments as these can be very bitter.

As for the preparation part of the process simply add the coconut water into your blended, pop all your prepared fruits in and blend for 10-15 seconds on a high speed or until it is visibly smooth.

Serve over ice if you fancy a colder refreshment.

Enjoy!

Morning Fruit Booster Smoothie. A fresh and zingy morning smoothie which will wake you up and help you stay energized for those busy hours to come.

Triple Chocolate Almond Brownies

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.

Purposefully made to not be a sweet as traditional brownies whilst retaining all the wonderful flavours you would expect they offer a more intense experience. The chewy middle encapsulated with a crunchy exterior is complimented with the nuts for that pleasing crunch the mouth adores and all backed up with a small tingle from the coffee buzz… could you ask for more.

Ingredients:

  • 150g dark chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 115g butter; cubed
  • 100g almonds; roughly chopped
  • 55g plain flour
  • 50g white chocolate; roughly chopped
  • 30g drinking chocolate
  • 2 eggs; beaten
  • 1tbsp instant coffee
  • 1tbsp filtered hot water
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essence

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookies and a cake.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare an 8-inch square tin by lining it with baking paper, unless you, like me, bake in a silicone tray in which case no lining is necessary.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, over a very low heat melt the butter and dark chocolate slowly. Once melted remove from the heat and add the sugar, stir constantly until it is all dissolved.

Put aside the mixture to cool down.

In a small cup mix together the hot water and instant coffee and again set aside to cool; once cold add the vanilla essence.

Beat the eggs with a fork or whisk in a small bowl or cup.

In yet another bowl sift the flour and drinking chocolate together.

Once your dark chocolate has cooled down to around room temperature pour into a mixing bowl and then add the whisked eggs, the coffee and vanilla mixture and stir the mix until combined.

Fold in your flour and drinking chocolate; finally gently fold in the chopped almonds and white chocolate chunks.

Spread the mixture out evenly in your pre-prepared baking tray and bake for 28-30 minutes or until just set in the middle… avoid over baking as over baked brownies will tend to be dry and hard, I like to check on them once my timer hits the 25-minute mark just to keep a close eye on them.

Remove from the oven and place the tray on a cooling rack to allow them to cool completely.

Cut into your desired serving portion size and enjoy!

Super rich in flavour, dense yet chewy in the middle, those brownies offer the perfect cross between cookie and a cake.

Flourless Banana and Peanut Butter Dog Treats

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure.

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure. We all deserve something special from time to time so why not treat our four legged friends to some yummy homemade treats? This recipe, for a change, is totally flourless. I don’t think that flour in small quantities is necessarily bad for our dogs but a few readers have suggested that they would prefer a flourless recipe, so here you have it… banana and peanut butter mixed with oats… quick, easy and actually rather tasty… yes, I do try all baked goods even the ones designed for my dogs.

As I cook / bake for my dogs, which are way above the so-called standard size and on top of that there are two of them, depending on your circumstances you might want to halve the ingredients… just to make sure your pooch doesn’t end up being over fed with treats as you become fearful of the treats going off. The ingredients as stated below will yield 24 6cm round 1cm deep treats, which are perfect for my large / giant breed but might be way too big for a smaller lap dog type of breed, so please adjust ingredient amounts accordingly.

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure.

Ingredients:

  • 350g organic oats
  • 200g ripe bananas flesh
  • 200g unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure.Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and prepare a large baking sheet.

In a large bowl place the bananas and mash them well with a fork.

Add the peanut butter, eggs, cinnamon and half of the oats and mix well. Slowly add the remaining oats incorporating them with the rest of the ingredients until you achieve a nice pliable mixture, which can be rolled out flat.

Using a rolling pin roll out the mixture until it is approximately 1cm thick. Use a cookie cutter of your desired shape and cut out some cookies.

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure.Place them on the earlier prepared baking sheet (no spacing necessary as these cookies aren’t going to grow or spread) and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Stored in an airtight container they should be good enough to feed for a week.

Super quick and easy, using only five ingredients these gluten free, flourless banana and peanut butter dog treats will make their tail wag for sure.

Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas

High protein, crunchy and super tasty these Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas make for a perfect healthy snack.

High protein, crunchy and super tasty these Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas make for a perfect healthy snack. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, which provide a rich content for protein, dietary fibre and minerals, especially iron. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for different medical conditions but for me there is one main reason to eat them… the taste… I love chickpeas, they are perfect as a main meal such as falafels, as an addition to soups or salads and of course as shown here, as a healthy snack.Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, which provide a rich content for protein, dietary fibre and minerals, especially iron. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for different medical conditions but for me there is one main reason to eat them… the taste… I love chickpeas, they are perfect as a main meal such as falafels, as an addition to soups or salads and of course as shown here, as a healthy snack.

If you are ever stuck for ideas for what to have as a healthy snack, then why not give chickpeas a try. Roasted chickpeas make for a perfect snack and they will keep you fuller for longer due to their high protein content. They are easy to prepare and can be flavoured in 100s different ways depending on your personal tastes and desires.

Today I want to share with you one of my favourite ways – honey and mustard chickpeas, a very nice sweet and sour combination, which should appeal to most.

High protein, crunchy and super tasty these Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas make for a perfect healthy snack. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, which provide a rich content for protein, dietary fibre and minerals especially iron. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for different medical conditions but for me there is one main reason to eat them… the taste… I love chickpeas, they are perfect as a main meal such as falafels, as an addition to soups or salads and of course as shown here, as a healthy snack.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tin of chickpeas (400g)
  • 2tsb sunflower oil
  • 2tsp raw runny honey
  • 2tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2tsp salt

Method:

Preheat the oven to 200C

Drain and wash chickpeas, then help them dry by patting them with some kitchen paper towel.

Once dry, spread them on a large baking tray and lightly drizzle with the sunflower oil.

Gently shake the tray and make sure all the chickpeas are evenly coated.

Sprinkle generously with salt and pop into the earlier preheated oven for 20 minutes.

In the meantime whilst you are waiting, mix the honey and mustard together.

When the time is up, remove your chickpeas from the oven, gently tilt the tray to move them to one side so they are all bunched up and then drizzle with honey and mustard mixture. Using a silicone spatula stir the chickpeas around ensuring that they are all evenly coated. Finally spread them out again all over the baking tray and pop back to the oven for an additional 10 minutes, stirring once half way through the cooking time.

The chickpeas should be totally dry and crunchy. If they are still slightly wet inside you might need to increase the cooking time but check them every few minutes as you don’t want them to burn.

Cool and enjoy!

High protein, crunchy and super tasty these Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas make for a perfect healthy snack. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, which provide a rich content for protein, dietary fibre and minerals, especially iron. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for different medical conditions but for me there is one main reason to eat them… the taste… I love chickpeas, they are perfect as a main meal such as falafels, as an addition to soups or salads and of course as shown here, as a healthy snack.Apparently, they can be stored for up to a week but my batches never seem to last more than a day so I cannot vouch for it. 🙂

High protein, crunchy and super tasty these Honey & Mustard Roasted Chickpeas make for a perfect healthy snack. Chickpeas are a nutrient-dense food, which provide a rich content for protein, dietary fibre and minerals especially iron. They have been associated with a number of possible health benefits for different medical conditions but for me there is one main reason to eat them… the taste… I love chickpeas, they are perfect as a main meal such as falafels, as an addition to soups or salads and of course as shown here, as a healthy snack.

Black Forest Muffins

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all, they can be on your table within the hour! Though they do taste better if you can resist until they are cooled completely 🙂

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! Almost everyone loves a classic Black Forest Gateaux but who has access to or even afford one every day? So as we fancied one but didn’t have access to one our creative juices started to flow and this is what we came up with – a black forest muffins!

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 125g flour
  • 25g organic unsweetened raw cocoa
  • 4 eggs; separated
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 75g cherries in juice; drained

For the syrup:

  • 3tbsp cherry juice
  • 2tbsp caster sugar
  • 1tbs cherry liqueur

For the decoration (optional):

  • 150ml whipping cream
  • 10 cherries
  • Chocolate shavings

Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Prepare 10 cups in a muffin tin tray by lining them with paper muffin cases or lightly greasing.

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, on a low heat melt the butter and sugar, gently bring to the boil and cook for a minute or two stirring constantly till the sugar has completely dissolved. Remove from the heat, transfer into a large mixing bowl and set aside to cool.

In a clean and dry bowl whisk the egg whites until peaks form.

Once the butter and sugar mixture has cooled down, stir in the egg yolks followed by the vanilla essence, then sift over flour, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.

Then gently fold in the cherries and whisked egg whites.

Spoon the batter into the earlier prepared muffin cases and bake for around 15 minutes or until well risen and firm to the touch, use a wooden toothpick to check, it should come out clean when you stick it into the middle of the muffin.

Whilst your muffin are baking mix up the syrup by combining all the listed ingredients. If you are struggling with dissolving the sugar simply heat the cherry juice up a bit.

Once the muffins are baked remove from the oven and whilst still hot slowly drizzle a little bit of the syrup mix onto each muffin. It will give them a wonderful shiny finish 🙂

If you are opting for the fully loaded version of the muffin with whipped cream then whip the cream (I don’t add sugar but if you fancy more sweetness, you might want to add a tablespoon of icing sugar… or two) so it is ready for serving.

Once you are ready to eat, simply decorate your shiny muffins with the whipped cream and place a cherry on top; finish with some chocolate shavings sprinkled all over…

Perfection!

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour! In the past we used to only bake these muffins for special occasions, especially if we opted for the whipped cream finish but lately we have decided that actually, every day is a special day, so why not treat ourselves for no particular reason at all!

What is your favourite special occasion dessert?

Super rich in flavour, light and fluffy these Black Forest Muffins tick all the right boxes plus they are easy to make and best of all they can be on your table within the hour!