Category Archives: Healthy Sweets

I don’t even like bananas that much…

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So like, this was gonna be a great comeback post with TWO banana recipes, Banana Clusters and Banana Bread. However, although the banana bread (made with dates AND walnuts) was delicious, when I turned it out onto the cooling rack, a bit of the bottom fell off, and I didn’t wanna take a photo of a bloody ugly cake. So yeh, just one banana recipe. Soz.

The reason I have so many bananas is because my parents, my mum, seem to still be buying food for 5 people when actually there are only 2 of them, neither of whom eat bananas. So I came back for a week from France to find, amongst eggs dating back from September and hummus from January, 9 over ripe bananas.

‘WE GOTTA DO SOMEFING WITH THESE BANANAS’ me and my sis said. So I made these Banana coconut clusters and banana bread.

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Now my house smells like bloody bananas.

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BANANA CLUSTERS

Ingredients

-1 cup of porridge oats, 1/2 cup of porridges processed to rubble (don’t worry if you can’t do this)

-1/2 cup of ground almonds, or another type of nut

-1/3 cup of desiccated coconut

-1/2 cup of sultanas (or chocolate chips???)

-1/4 cup mixed nuts (optional)

-1 tsp baking powder

-1 tsp vanilla essence

-1 tsp ground nutmeg

-3 very ripe bananas

-1/4 cup of melted coconut oil

Method

-Pre-heat oven to gas mark 5 and line two baking trays with greaseproof paper.

-Mix together all the dry ingredients in one bowl, and mix together all the wet ingredients (the banana, vanilla essence and coconut) in another one.

-Add the wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix reallly well.

-Make your clusters. I used about a teaspoon for each cluster, and placed them on the baking tray. I think it was about 9-12 clusters on each tray.

-Cook for about 20 minutes, or less depending on your oven, until golden brown and firm to touch.

-Leave to cool, this will allow them to firm up.  ANNJOYYY BON APPETIT.

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Gold Granola

LOOK I’VE MADE AN OLYMPIC-THEMED DISH. I love the Olympics. It took quite a few days for the Olympic mood to kick in, but now I’m in love. It’s ironic. We’re watching athletes throw up and rip their muscles apart (well, except for shooting and archery-WHAT NON-SPORTS), claiming that we love sport…yet we do all this while sitting on the sofa and doing nothing all day. I have managed to keep a good balance, I do a good run/swim/gym as soon as I get up and, being slightly employed/unemployed, I can just sit on the sofa and knit all day with whoever wishes to join me. It’s a shame, I guess, that I didn’t get tickets, but I’m living in the goddamn city. You can definitely feel something in London which I doubt you can get elsewhere in the country. Maybe it’s because I live at the bottom of Ally Pally, where the Dutch team are located, so every night when I look out my window I see this bright orange-illuminated building. Or maybe it’s because everytime you step outside EVERYONE is sporting some sort of national sports jersey. It seems everyone also has a union jack flag just sticking out from their rucsacks. Hmmm, who needs tickets?

I have seen many a granola recipe in my time. I have EATEN many a granola recipe in my time. But MAKE granola? Mehhh, it was never very high on my to-make list. But granola is so pretty when it’s made and just sitting in a jar. It then also looks really nice as a present.

I was always quite turned off it because of the high sugar content, because it’s made of maple syrup, most of the time. However, I (my parents) purchased some agave nectar because I wanted to try and do some healthy baking. That is what made me want to make my own granola. Turns out it is probably the easiest thing in the entire world. And my mum EATS IT (my mum rarely eats anything). I’ve made two batches in the space of 1 week! It’s getting hoovered up. So a healthy granola that is ridiculously healthy? I give it the GOLD MEDAL.

Ingredients-Yield is about 1.25 litres (adapted from this)

-3 cups of porridge oats

-1/2 cup of agave nectar

-1/2 cup of almonds

-1/2 chopped walnuts

-1/2 cup of dried apricots

-1/2 cup raisins/sultanas

-1 scant tsp of salt

Method

-Preheat oven to 300 f, or around gas mark 5. Line a large baking tray with grease proof paper.

-Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Make sure it is very well combined.

-Spread out onto the paper, making sure it is as spread out as possible.

-Put in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring from time to time. Be careful not burn.

-Take out from oven when it looks like most of the porridge is browned.

-Leave to cool, and then put an airtight container.

 

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Filed under Healthy Sweets, Store Cupboard, Vegan, Vegetarian

How to be Healthy: Cheap Chocolate Butterscotch Scoop

I left Leeds last week. My exams finished, I hung around for a week and did NOTHING, I packed up the crap I’ve collected for two years and then I left at 6.30am. I will be gone for about 15 months, while I spend a year studying in the south of France. It was sad to go, but hey, I’m gonna get SOOOOOO tanned.

This will be me for the next year.

I have been spending the last week not doing much. Sorting out France, trying to flat hunt. I’ve been doing lots of reading and helping my sister edit some filming she’s been doing. Most importantly, I’VE BEEN WORKING OUTTTT. I haven’t said, but I’ve been unable to run for 5 weeks as my back seized up during revision period, which offset the right side of my body, and my right leg was overwhelmingly weak and painful. But I’ve been in the gym, pumping iron, doing lots of pilates and yoga, and I’m on the mend. I did 5k today without any pain (nearly). Hopes are up.

Anyway, here you go.

LOOK! IT LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ICE CREAM. BUT IT ISN’T! This right here is made of bananas. And some cocoa powder. And some set honey which gives it that butterscotchy flavour. Yummy. Process it all together and eat straight away or freeze in an airtight container and enjoy whenever.

Ingredients: 

Serves 4 

-4 bananas, frozen

-1 dessert spoon cocoa powder

-1 tbsp set (or runny) honey

Method

-Freeze your bananas at least a day prior, and make sure you peel and chop them before hand otherwise it’s a pain trying to peel a frozen banana.

-In the food processor, process your bananas for about 4-5 minutes. Stopping from time to time to mix the mixture.

-Once it starts to get creamy, add the cocoa powder and the honey and continue to process.

-Put in a container and re-freeze for that more effective ice cream texture, or serve straight away for the more soft serve effect.

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Filed under Desserts, Healthy Sweets, How to be Healthy

How to be Healthy: Banana Brownies

Here is a disclaimer: don’t eat these with the idea that they will be really rich, sweet  brownies.

These aren’t meant to be indulgent, they’re meant to be sustaining snacks to get you on your way. They taste like banana bread, but because they don’t have butter or eggs or sugar in them, they’re not as rich or sugary.

HOWEVER, THEY ARE STILL DELICIOUS AND HEALTHY. Why? Well they have buckwheat in them. Buckwheat baking is fun because I’m like “IT’S LOOKS LIKE FLOUR BUT IT’S NOT”. It’s a bit like fake meat, “IT’S LOOKS LIKE A SAUSAGE BUT IT’S NOT”. (However, I don’t really like fake meat).

Enjoy these this jubilee weekend, because with all the drinking, unhealthy canapes and sun, you’ll need a healthy indulgence.

Ingredients-Food processor required, makes 12 servings

-3/4 cup of buckwheat groats

-1 cup of porridge oats

-3 over ripe bananas

-200 ml milk, any kind

-1.5 tsp of baking powder

-1/4 cup dessicated coconut

-1/4 cup of dried apricots, chopped

-1 heaped tsp of honey

-Chopped walnuts (optional)

Method

-Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper, and preheat oven to gas mark 6, 200 c.

-In a food processor, process the buckwheat groats for 5-10 minutes until ground to flour like substance. Take little breaks so the processor doesn’t over heat.

-Once ground, porridge and process for a bit longer until the whole mixture looks well and truly FLOUR-LIKE.

-Add the bananas and process until the mixture is well combined.

-Add the remaining ingredients and process until the mixture looks like cake batter.

-Pour into baking dish and top with walnuts.

-Cook for 45 minutes, or until top has browned off and the brownies feel soft.

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Filed under Grains, Healthy Sweets, How to be Healthy

Cooking Up My Bookmarks: Really Good, Really Healthy Brownies

Shockingly good actually, but I didn’t want to make that the title. It seemed a bit presumptuous.

These are part of my ‘Cooking Up My Bookmarks’ mission. It’s going well so far.

These are date brownies. They aren’t called date brownies because eating a lot of them will get you a date (they wont, I’ve tried) , but because they have lots of dates in them. AND WE ALL KNOW, dates really rule when it comes to sweet things #datesquares #stickytoffeepudding.

I love brownies. They have to be really fudgy and sickly. And chocolately. My mum makes amazing brownies, and I always swore that she did. But then my friend made these even more amazing brownies with melted chocolate. They were nice.

They reinstated a love of brownies in me, and so, to make brownies REALLY EXCITING, I wanted to make a healthy recipe for them…party at my house.

How are these made healthy? Well, they don’t have butter, sugar, eggs or flour in them. DAT’S RIGHT. They have pearl barley flour in them, this is made by grinding pearl barley. This did mean that there were bits of pearl barley in the brownies, but they were edible and I’m fine 12 hours later. So hey, it’s okay! By the way, a food processor is necessary.

So what do they actually taste like? OMIGOD, they taste so good. I was so dubious, but these are rich, and gooey and very chocolately. The texture is very dense, and the flavour is nutty and chocolatey, a bit like a Kinder Bueno.

Just taking this opportunity to plug my twitter account again, @jes_sca (or see the side bar).

Ingredients- Cooking THIS but with a lot of variation

-1 cup of dates

-3/4 boiling water

-1 tsp vanilla extract

-1/4 cup of pearl barley flour (process barley)

-1/4 mix of hazlenuts and almonds

-1 1/2 tsp of baking powder

-1/2 cup cocoa powder

-1/4 cup of coconut oil, melted

-1/4 dessicated coconut (optional)

-1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

-1/4 cup peanut butter

Method

-Preheat oven to gas mark 5/370f/190 c. Grease a rounded cake tin, or a 5″ x 5″ tin, or any sort of tin you have.

-In a bowl, pour the hot water and vanilla essence over the dates and set aside.

-In a food processor, process the pearl barley and nuts for as long as possible. It should be very finely processed,  but there will be some bits of pearl barley that don’t get processed. Seive the mixture into another bowl, you basically want to get rid of all the whole bits of barley, and set aside.

-To this mixture add the cocoa powder, coconut oil, dessicated coconut and baking powder.

-Get your date mixture, and put into the food processor. Process for about 1 minute until the mixture is paste-like .

-Add the cocoa mixture and the peanut butter to the paste-mixture and process until everything is well-combined.

-Pour the batter into cake tin and cook for an 45 mins-hour. They are ready when the top of the brownies is very firm and when you poke a knife through it, it comes out clean.

-Leave to cool before cutting. And eating.

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How to be Healthy: Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies? That doesn’t sound healthy…WELL IT IS OKAY. There is nothing bad in these little orange puffs. Except maybe you’ll end up the lot! LOL…

This is the first recipe of how you can make easy, not obscure, changes to your diet without having to substitute happiness. However, healthy eating is down to knowledge. You have to know why something is unhealthy, why certain substitutes are going to benefit you. Don’t just buy a diet meal because it says it’s good for you. Otherwise you’ll never learn. I’m gonna attempt to instruct on how to have fun with meals, with ease, whilst maintaining your health…

These breakfast cookies have oats, apricots, honey, carrot… Just lovely. They have the texture of those coconut macaroons, but don’t have: Sugar, butter, flour OR eggs! Does that even mean they’re cookies?

I don’t know. Replacements are key to being healthy and having fun. These took no time and don’t use obscure ingredients, apart from coconut oil, which is fairly easy to get your hands on in the international isle, international supermarkets or in whole food shops and is about £1.50 for 500g. A food processor or blender makes this process really easy in order to process the porridge oats, alternatively just buy oat flour and make these the old fashioned way with a spoon and bowl.

Analysis of Breakfast Cookies:

  • Porridge oats are jam packed full of fibre. Why do we need fibre?  It slowly releases energy so you stay fuller for longer, whilst helping digestion and expelling toxins as well.
  • The carrots will help you see in the dark.
  • No seriously, carrots are jam packed full of vitamin C and anti-oxidants.
  • Dried apricots are also a good source of fibre and serve as a replacement to sugar.
  • Honey boosts immunity and is a natural energy booster, and also replaces sugar.

Ingredients

-1 cup of porridge oats OR oat flour

-1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

-1 tsp baking powder

-1/2 cup of dried apricots, chopped roughly or VERY FINELY IF NOT USING A FOOD PROCESSOR

-1 carrot, peeled and grated

-1/4 cup honey

-1 tsp of cinnamon

-2 tsp lemon juice (don’t worry if 

you can’t find these last two)

Method

-Pre-heat oven to gas mark 5, 190 c. Grease a cup cake tray or a baking tray with a bit of vegetable oil.

-Ground the porridge oats in a food processor.

-Add baking powder, coconut oil,  apricots, carrot and process/mix very thoroughly until the mixture is combined and starting to get quite sticky.

-Add honey, cinnamon and lemon juice and process/mix well until the mixture is very well combined and can  hold well together in balls.

-Put a heaped teaspoon of the mixture in the cake tray or baking tray, and cook until the base  and top is brown, about 27-30 minutes. Leave to cool before eating PLEASE.

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Filed under Healthy Sweets, How to be Healthy, Vegan, Vegetarian

Coconut Date Squares

Well, you can’t get much better than dates. Well, you can actually. But as sweet things go, you can’t get much better than this. Please tell what is unhealthy about something that has: oats, dates, coconut all in one? Did you know dates are used in sticky toffee pudding too? It’s INSANE. They are amazing because they are so goddamn sweet, and yes they have sugar in them. BUT they’re natural sugars. Let’s stop talking about dates.

What we have here is a porridge, coconut and date base, with a date and water topping and then a bit more of the base crumbled on top.

I’ve just finished my January university exams. I revised (attempted) all winter at home which was crap, and it was worsened by the constant pain of my back injury. I then returned to Leeds, revised for 10 days, 10am-7pm whilst sitting 4 exams in 4 of those 10 days (with one on a Saturday morning might I add). Finishing felt good. But I had a free week before lectures started, so decided to have a proper holiday, with no work and a bit more running. Thus I have lots of spare time to make things like this. Enjoy.  OH YEAH MAKE SURE THE DATES ARE SEEDLESS

Ingredients-Makes 6 filling squares -Adapted from Oh She Glows

Base-

-1 cup of porridge oats

-1/2 cup of dessicated coconut

-1/2 cup of coconut oil, or vegetable oil(obviously unhealthier though)

-5 Dates

Topping

-25 dates, maybe more.

-1 cup of water

Method

For the base

In a food processor, combine the porridge and coconut until it has a bit of a floury texture

-Add the dates, and process until it resembles crumble, a bit like rubble.

-Then melt the coconut oil , but if using vegetable oil you don’t need to, then add to the mixture and process until the mixture is sticky and looks like it could bind well without falling apart.

-Prepare a small container, about 3×5 inch, with a sheet of baking paper covering all sides.

-Place the base mixture into the container and push down firmly. It’s not rocket science. Reserving some to place on top later.

For the topping

-Process the dates with the water until it’s like a thick paste, adding more dates or more water when needed.

-Scoop out mixture and spread on top of base, then sprinkle the remaining of the base mixture on top. Or if you like, with more oats and coconut, uncombined.

-Leave to set in the fridge for 3 hours minimum.


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Filed under Healthy Sweets, Quick, Vegan, Vegetarian