Well Friday has come around again. It’s been a positive week. I’ve been pushing myself and training in new ways. I feel absolutely goosed, but thankfully for all the right reasons. Although after this mornings pasting, I may struggle to walk in the morning and then I won’t feel so special.
I’m posting an easy snack recipe this week. I had a little play around and worked out that you can create a brilliant seedy cracker using water as the binding agent. Crispy, snappy and super seedy, these crackers are gorgeous on their own, but really moreish with a bit of cheese, a smidge of honey or dunked in a good dip.
To make 12 crackers, each with around 75 calories, here’s what you need:
- 150g seeds. Equal measures of the following works well – sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, poppy seeds and flaxseeds.
- 125 ml water.
- Generous sprinkle of Himalayan salt.
- Optional addition of 1/2 teaspoon of chilli flakes and a teaspoon of dried rosemary.
It shouldn’t be this easy but it is…
- Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Add 125 ml water to your seeds and leave for 15 minutes for the water to absorb.
- Spread as thinly as you can on a lined baking tray. I’d say you want to aim for a thickness of 3 or 4mm.
- Sprinkle with salt.
- You can then add the rosemary and chilli flakes on one half of the cracker mix – creating 2 types of finished crackers.
- Place in the oven for 20 minutes.
- Remove and cut into the sizes you want the crackers to be.
- Pop back in the oven for about 20 further minutes until they really crisp up.
- Store in a really good airtight container.
This is one of those ones that gives back massively based on the ratio of effort vs. end result.
Happy Friday xx
We made it! I completely forgot how incredibly time consuming and energy sapping moving house can be. Organising, packing and moving all your belongings, then re establishing them somewhere new is big enough. But it’s the uprooting of your families energy and emotional connection that’s the exhausting part. This time last year we moved 1500 miles from England to Gibraltar. This time last week we only moved 5 doors down on the same road, so I’m sure it shouldn’t have been as tiring as has been. That said, we’ve done a great job. We’re settling fast and we are all happy to be here.
So it seems only apt to post a real energy fueller this week. These balls are great pre or post workout or just to get an extra kick through a busy day.
They feature tahini, which is a wonderful ingredient made from the kernels of crushed sesame seeds. It is made up of 20% complete protein, which is more than most nuts. There are all sorts of reasons why you should get some tahini in your diet:
- It is rich in minerals such as phosphorus, lecithin, magnesium, potassium and iron.
- It is a good source of Methionine, which aids in liver detoxification.
- It is one of the best sources of calcium you can find.
- It is high in vitamin E and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5 and B15.
- It is packed with Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which have been shown to improve the health of the brain and support healthy development of nervous tissues. They also optimize cognitive functions and emotional health.
- Tahini is easy for your body to digest because of its high alkaline mineral content, which is great for assisting in weight loss.
- It is also high in unsaturated fat (the ‘good’ fat).
These balls deliver deliver a great balance of savoury and sweet. They’re moist yet also have a little crunch from the seedy ingredients.
To make around 12 balls you will need:
- 60g oats
- 30g sesame seeds
- 30g shredded or flaked coconut
- 30g brazil nuts
- 30g raisins
- 60g dried pitted dates
- 30g almonds
- 30g raw pumpkin seeds
- 10g chia seeds
- 70 – 80z tahini
- 30 – 40z honey
- A generous squeeze of lime
- Blitz up all the fruit and nuts till fairly fine. A few chunkier pieces is ok for texture. It’s sometimes a good idea to do all the nuts and seeds and then all the fruits, before mixing together in a large bowl.
- Squeeze in the lime.
- Then mix in your tahini and honey with your hands or a spatula. Add the lower end of the measures first and check the consistency. The mixture should be dense enough to make balls but not wet. Use a little more of the tahini/honey to add more moisture if needed or more chia seeds if a little too moist.
- Once rolled into balls place in a tray in the fridge for an hour before eating. Keep these in the fridge in an airtight jar.
I have an open jar of tahini now so sense some more tahini recipes coming!
If at first you don’t succeed…
…Then get obsessed. Give up a kilogram of oats, 8 eggs and 4 hours. Bake 43 muffins and force feed your loved ones. Over and over. Until you strike the jackpot.
I saw a great recipe on the Glitter and Grey blog for spinach and chocolate chip muffins. The recipe really grabbed me, so I thought I’d have a bash. I decided to tweak it though, making it into a carrot equivalent. The result was ok, but it certainly wasn’t a crowd pleaser. My five year old squeezed honey all over his first one and said that was pretty good though.
I wanted to create something as tasty as carrot cake, but without the flour, sugar and frosted icing. Slightly ambitious I know.
However, with some patience and practice I have created a beautifully sweet, slightly spiced and moist fruity muffin. These saintly bakes also now feature extra honey, thank you Tobias.
You will need:
- 100 grams of greek yoghurt
- 2 bananas
- 2 eggs
- 2 grated carrots
- Grated peel from 1 medium orange
- 3 tablespoons of honey
- 2 teaspoons of cinnamon
- 200 grams of oats (I used gluten free)
- 100 grams of raisins
Thank fully the process is simple:
- Put everything except the oats and raisins into the blender for a few seconds
- Then mix in the oats and raisins in a separate bowl
- Spoon into muffin cases (Use silicone cases to avoid sticking, there’s not a lot of grease in these)
- Put into pre-heated oven (180C fan or 350 F) for 15 – 20 minutes until a rich brown
- Leave on wire racks to cool
You will get 12 muffins from this recipe, each containing around 130 calories.
I also made a batch of buttercream. A reward to my husband and son. They were truly impressed with the less saintly alternative muffin served with a generous topping of buttercream.
The end result here is ultimately just a really tasty plate of cakes. Somehow, the thought, love and attention to get them spot on has made them something more special to me this week. For me this is how you take good ingredients, then carefully find the best way to serve them up with masses of affection.
I’m hot on the heels of the Ginger nutters I posted last week. I’m not sure these surpass, but they’re certainly in the running. These ones are really crunchy and nutty, a completely different flavour impact to the previous.
I like the whole ball concept – they’re more of a little nibble than an actual snack. They’re also a bit more guest friendly and look pretty cool in a glass jar or bowl.
I’ve increased the nut ratio and combined with both prunes and flaxseed (linseed), making them a good digestive aid if that’s in order.
Prunes are really high in fibre and a great source of vitamin k and beta carotene. I’m not sure these small little balls of loveliness alone can help u-turn our ageing, but a diet high in beta carotene can only be a good thing. It protects and fixes the damage of free radicals on our cells.
Linseed is renowned for its wondrous ways. It too has anti-oxidant qualities, it is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids (the ‘good’ fats) and is packed with fibre.
At the end of the day these balls offer a better type of snacking. They are good for you and keep you fuller longer than an equivalent empty calorie option.
To make 9 20g balls will need:
- 40g prunes
- 30g dried unsulphered apricots
- 30g raisins
- 20g almonds
- 20g brazil nuts
- 40g cashews
- 10g linseeds
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
What to do:
- This time I just whizzed everything up at once rather than the dry ingredients first. The balls are far more textured this time. I think it’s down to personal preference.
- Once blitzed you can weigh out (or guesstimate) 20g balls and shape.
- Then pop in the fridge for a couple of hours. I keep these in a jar in the fridge.
Each 20g ball contains around 90 calories.
Hope you enjoy
It’s raining here in Gibraltar today. It doesn’t happen very often, so I quite like it. I’ve been for a wet run with Finn Dog, collected the boys from rugby and then turned into Debbie Domestic in the kitchen.
I’m all over the ginger at the minute. I’ve made the boys a ginger, carrot and apple loaf for later and made some clean eating raw food balls, packed with raw ginger.
So first the cake…
Is the cake clean eating? No, it’s got vegetables, fruit and good spices in which is pretty wholesome, but it is made with wheat flour and lashings of butter. However the kitchen smells amazing right now and I’d rather them eat that than open a boxed cake later on or a soulless frozen desert. There’s some conditioned and deep rooted maternal desire to get the approval of your brood with food. This kind of pudding warms hearts and makes me feel good to give.
Will I feel like I am missing out? Will I secretly cry inside as they crack into the ginger loaf and ladle with custard? I honestly won’t. It’s been so many years now since I ate anything like that, I just don’t want, need or miss if from my life. I am not depriving myself. I made choices that ultimately make me feel good not just when I eat or after I eat, but each and every day for life.
Here’s a link to the cake recipe
And now the Clean eating Ginger nutters
For 9 20g balls, you will need:
- 70g dates
- 30g dried cranberries
- 40g dried coconut
- 40g cashew nuts
- 20g fresh grated ginger
- A teaspoon honey
- Whizz up the nuts then remove from the processor
- Blitz up the remaining ingredients
- Remove and then with your hands work together the ingredients
- I then weighed out the 20g balls and shaped on a board
- They need an hour in the fridge to firm up
- Each 20g bar contains approximately 55 calories
I promise you these are gorgeous. They are a perfect sweet and spicy nibble.
God damn delicious.
Last week I posted the recipe for Apricot and Cashew raw food bars. They were really good, but I’m pretty sure that these ones are better.
To make 5 bars you’ll need:
55g cashew nuts
5g dried cranberries
Each bar contains around 125 calories (between 30 – 35g)
- Blend up the nuts in a processor until fine.
- Take them out and whizz up the fruit.
- Then mix them both together. You need to get your hands in and mix them up properly.
- Press into a loaf tin or just shape them on a board using a pallette knife. (I just shape them on a board).
- Refrigerate them for a couple of hours, then chop into 5 and wrap each individually in cling film. Pop back in the fridge.
Fab, I’ll get some more of these up next week.
These clean-eat and gluten free bars are truly gorgeous. I eat these now instead of Nakd bars. The basic principle is to combine fruits and nuts that taste great together, meaning there are loads of variations you can try.
I’ll make a weekly batch to share some of the combinations we like most. Today is Fruity Friday at school so my son has one in his packed lunch. Both the children love these. I’ll be honest, I’d probably have to smear in melted chocolate to convince Alex.
To make 5 bars you’ll need:
75g cashew nuts
3 large dates
45g unsulphered dried apricots
20g unsulphered raisins
Each bar contains around 130 calories (between 30 – 35g)
Just blend up the nuts in a processor until fine. Take them out and whizz up the fruit. Then mix them both together. You need to get your hands in and mix them up properly. Then press into a loaf tin or just shape them on a board using a pallette knife. Cut into 5 bars then cover with cling film and refirgerate them for a couple of hours.
I then wrap each individually in cling film and pop back in the fridge.
They’ll keep for a few days without any problem. Sounds cheesy – but we’ve never had to wait that long to find out.