Almond Caramel N’ice Cream – quick, healthy and delicious


You can never have too much n’ice cream! Dairy, gluten and added sugar free – this is guilt free loveliness. I think this may be my favourite flavour yet! This is really scrummy and tastes divine. It doesn’t need any extra sugar as the bananas and date caramel give it tonnes of rich sweetness and creaminess. It’s also pretty quick to make. I usually make up a big batch of the date caramel so I can use it for other stuff (or just eat it by the spoonful!).


You will need:

8 – 10 Medjool dates (this will create extra caramel so reduce if you don’t want any spare)

1 tbsp Almond butter

1 tbsp hot Water

4 frozen bananas

Handful almonds

Drizzle of coconut, maple or date syrup

It’s best if you peel and slice your bananas for freezing as it makes it easier for the blender to handle so make sure your bananas are well frozen first.

First caramelise the almonds. Pop the almonds into a dry frying pan, add a good drizzle of maple, coconut or date syrup and heat. You need to keep an eye on this – you want it to start to bubble and thicken but not burn. Keep stirring so they don’t catch. Once the syrup is reduced down and they’re well coated tip them out in to some baking paper and allow to cool. You can break them apart once cool.

  

Then make the caramel. Chop the dates and pop in to a high speed blender together with the almond butter. Depending on how dry your dates are you may not need all the water so start with half. Process well, adding the rest of the water if necessary, until you have a smooth caramel. Remove this from the blender (don’t worry about getting every last bit out and there’s no need to clean the blender).

Pop your frozen bananas in to the blender and pulse to blend the banana. Once it’s almost smooth add a tablespoon or so of the caramel back in to the blender with the bananas (add as much as you want – to taste). Blend well and then serve with the almonds sprinkled in top. If you want to serve it later freeze in small portions (plastic food bags or ice cube trays work best) and reblend briefly before serving to remove any large ice crystals.


Coconut and Apple Cake – gluten and dairy free


This is a wonderful combination of squidgy, moist and dry and crumbly cake which makes it super moreish. It’s also full of goodness and, if you add the protein, is also full of extra protein too. It can be made completely vegan if you want it to be (see below), or you can use eggs if you’re not fussed.

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This is especially good if served with the topping I’ve whipped up too and even better with a big dollop of Soya yoghurt or ice cream :)

I’ve used the Bali Nutra Coconut Syrup in this recipe which I absolutely love – it’s so tasty!

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I’ve recorded a little video of this recipe here too :

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You will need:

1 cup of flour – you can use any flour you like here – spelt, almond, coconut. I used Almond flour

1/2 cup Ground Almonds

1/2  cup Vanilla Protein Powder (I use this one) – or if not then just add more flour

1/2 cup Desiccated Coconut

1 cup Coconut Syrup (from Bali Nutra)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (melted)

3 eggs (or 3 tbsp Chia seeds soaked in 9 tbsp water)

2 heaped tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground Cardamom (or 1 drop of cardamom extract)

1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda

1 – 2 Bramley apples (depends how big they are!) (plus lemon juice to squeeze over them once cut if you want)

Optional – if your batter is too dry (it will depend on the flour you use) then you may need to add a small amount of any non-dairy milk (I splashed a bit of coconut milk in mine)

A sprinkle of coconut sugar and some coconut flakes to decorate.

I also made a little topping to go with it for this you will need:

4 tbsp Coconut milk (use the 65 – 70% extract milk and see here for instructions on how to get the thick creamy part)

2 tbsp Coconut oil (melted)

2 – 3 tbsp Coconut syrup (adjust to taste)

2 tsp ground Cinnamon (adjust to taste)

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Preheat the oven to 180 C and grease and line a baking tin (I used a large loaf tin and three small ones as I had some extra batter but you could any tin you like – a 20 – 25cm round tin would work).

Put all the dry ingredients (flours, protein powder, spices etc) into a large mixing bowl and stir well. Peel and dice the apples. Set the apples aside and if you don’t want them to go brown add a squeeze of lemon juice while you wait to add them. Put all the wet ingredients in another bowl and mix well. Add the wet to the dry and combine. The batter will be thick but if you have used coconut flour and the chia seeds then you may find your batter is far too dry. In which case add a little milk to loosen it up. Fold in the apple.

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Spoon the batter in to your tin, sprinkle a little coconut sugar and coconut flakes over the top for decoration if you fancy, and pop in the oven. If like me you have too much batter then make some small cakes too! Depending on the size of your tin it will take 25 – 40 mins to cook but just keep checking it and when a skewer comes out clean it’s done! As it cooks you may find the top starts to brown too much so just pop some foil over it if so.

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This is best eaten warm with a dollop of the topping – combine the topping ingredients together and serve!

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ZooT energy and protein bars – a review


Those of you that know me know I’m always racing about between fitness classes etc and often I need something that’s quick and easy to munch on for a boost. I was very excited to discover these fab little bars from ZooTfoods. I was even more excited when they sent me some to review! woohoo!

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ZooT bars are fab little snack bars for anyone who wants to snack sensibly and have something healthy to grab on the go. They have 9 delicious flavours in 3 types and they’re all gluten free, and most are dairy free (except the banana choc chip and choc n’ orange) so there’s plenty of choice.

– ZooT BoosT – these are designed to give you an energy boost and include banana choc chip, choc ‘n’ orange and cranberry crush.

– ZooT EndurO – these are designed to give you longer lasting energy and so are packed with protein too. The flavours are brazil nut carnival, cashew supreme and roasty toasty hazelnut.

– ZooT FrooT – packed with 70% fruit, these are designed to give you one of your 5 a day, but also to be low calorie. The flavours are berry burst, pear ‘n’ ginger and tropical bliss

In fact all of the bars are under 200 cals so are a great option if you’re watching your calories too. :)

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I really loved these bars. The BoosT ones are absolutely perfect for me just before I teach a class – they’re light enough not to make you feel heavy or sick, low calorie and really do give you an energy boost. I love the fact that you they have the choice of banana and chocolate, chocolate orange and something fruity with the cranberry crush.

The banana choc one is great – not overly banana-y but yummy. Bananas are a classic food of choice for energy so there’s no surprise that it works well here, it’s also a great source of Vitamin B6. Choc orange is one of my favourite flavour combos soI  was very happy with this one. Sometimes fruit-based chocolate orange bars end up tasting really fake but not in this case, it has just the right balance of choc and natural tasting orange flavour.

The cranberry crush is delightfully tangy! Cranberries are a great fruit to eat – they contain phyto-nutrients and are also a great protection against inflammatory diseases and urinary tract infections – added bonus!

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All the BoosT bars also contain the quickly and easily digested carbohydrate, Maltodextrin. This helps the body to synthesise proteins which means post-workout they’re also great!

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The EndurO bars are a great option to add a bit more protein and I prefer to have these if I’m reaching for a mid afternoon or morning snack as it’s a more sustained energy release and leaves me feeling fuller. They’re still low cal which is fab. They’re all full of nuts and seeds which means they are packed with good fats and proteins. The hazelnut was my favourite but the others are really delicious too. I had the Brazil nut carnival one with a coffee yesterday afternoon and it was perfect for filling me up.

IMG_1740 The FrooT bars are fab! refreshing and light and nice and tangy. Even the pear and ginger – which to be honest I didn’t think I’d like, I really enjoyed! It has pineapple in it too which really rounds out the flavour and I think this is what does it for me. The berry burst is my favourite of this bunch as it’s really tart and sweet at the same time and packed with gojis and cranberries so a great vitamin C boost too. The tropical bliss is lovely – pineapple, mango and apple – what a combo! These make great snacks on a hot day. Both of these also contain gluten free oats to give an extra boost.

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I definitely recommend you get your paws on some of these and practice a bit of safe snacking! :)  I’m doing the Prudential Ride100 event in two weeks time and I’ll definitely have a couple of these packed in my bike bag to keep me going! You can buy these in local health food shops (those of you in my area of the UK in surrey can get them at the health food shop in Surbiton for example), in gym cafe’s and you can buy them directly from ZooT themselves (see here) or from Amazon.

Peanut butter and blueberry n’ice cream


Nothing beats a nice cold, creamy ice cream on a warm afternoon and this combo works so well together. If you’ve got bananas already frozen this only takes a few minutes to make! :)

Freeze your bananas ready diced – it makes blending them easier. Freeze for a few hours, ideally overnight if you can. They will stick together so give them a bash before you blend. If your blender can’t handle them then try blitzing in short pulses or add a very small amount of non-dairy milk,  but the juice from the blueberries will help anyway :)

You will need:

4 or so frozen bananas

1 cup blueberries or berries of your choice

1 – 2 tbsp peanut butter

Take half the bananas and pop in to a high speed blender / vitamix with the blueberries and blitz until smooth. It will melt fast so pop in freezer once done while you make the peanut butter one.

Take the other half of the bananas and 1 tbsp peanut butter and blitz. This will be thicker so you may need a small dash of milk. Once blended have a taste and add more peanut butter if you want. Blitz.

Serve together :)

If you want to keep it for later pop in the freezer – ideally in ice cube trays then pop out and re-blend briefly to eat (this breaks up the ice crystals that may have formed).

Homemade n’ice cream ‘Nobbly Bobbly’ – easy, healthy but super tasty!


I confess, I have a problem. I am addicted to Nobbly Bobblys. So to save myself from myself I’ve created my own version. These are divine! For me they hit that Nobbly Bobbly spot but with way less guilt! They’re dairy, gluten and sugar free (if you want them to be – with the exception of those little sugar balls on the outside which if you didn’t want to use you could substitute with desiccated coconut or chopped nuts or something instead :)). I didn’t use any sweetener in the chocolate coating as I find the sugar balls and natural sweetness of the n’ice cream is enough for me but its personal preference so if you want it a little sweeter then I’ve added the details below.


These are easy but take a little time. You are going to need quite a few frozen bananas and some lolly sticks. I got mine from Amazon but places like Lakeland or other baking stores will have them, and you may also find them in craft stores. If you have a lolly mould you can use this for the first layer too (I tried using a mould and moulding them without – both worked).

This amount made me 4 pretty large Nobbly Bobblys and I had some n’ice cream and chocolate to spare for a quick pud afterwards but it will depend how big you make them.


You will need:

For the chocolate layer 

4 frozen bananas

4 tbsp Cocoa powder

For the Strawberry layer 

4 frozen Bananas

4 large ripe Strawberries

6 – 10 Raspberries (you can use more strawberries instead, I just like the colour and flavour the raspberries give)

For the chocolate coating

1/2 cup Coconut oil (melted)

1/3 cup Cocoa powder

Optional – 1/4 cup Coconut syrup/ maple syrup/ rice malt syrup / any liquid sweetener

Sugar balls or dessicated coconut or nuts etc (if using sugar balls you’ll need at least a full pot, probably two if you’re as messy as me ;) )

First clear some space in your freezer and find a suitable tray to lay the ice creams on. Cover it in baking paper and have your ice cream sticks handy.

Start with the chocolate layer. Pop the bananas and cocoa into a high speed blender (I use my vitamix) and blitz until you get a smooth consistency – you will need to do it in bursts and keep stirring in between. Remove from the blender and then as quickly as you can mould your first layer around the lolly sticks (Or in the mould if you’re using one). Place on the tray and in to the freezer. Leave for at least an hour. If they’re s bit messy don’t worry you can tidy them up with a knife before the next layer goes on.

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Next make the strawberry layer. Pop the bananas, strawberries and raspberries into the blender. Blitz until smooth. You will need to work quickly now. Remove the frozen chocolate layer from the freezer (tidy them up if you want to) and using a spatula add a layer of the strawberry n’ice cream all over and then pop back on the tray and get them back in the freezer for another 40 mins or more.

    

Once they’re frozen you can coat them. Mix the coconut oil and cocoa powder together with a fork or whisk (add the sweetener if you want to). If the coconut oil is very hot allow it to cool a little – it will stay liquid for ages so there’s no rush. Place on one side and pour your sugar balls (or whatever you are using) into a tray or plate and have it handy.  It’s best to work with one lolly at a time as they melt so fast. Warning this may get messy :)


Take your lolly and spoon the chocolate over one side and immediately press in it the sugar balls (or pour them over the top). Repeat over the whole lolly then get it straight back in the freezer on the tray asap. Do this for all your lollies.

  

Allow to freeze initially for at least 20 – 30 mins on the tray and then you can transfer them to a Tupperware box to keep them in the freezer until you want to eat them! Then enjoy! 

Super quick chocolate n’ice cream 


The weather is finally warm! Woohoo!

That makes me want ice cream so I thought I’d whip up a quick batch of chocolate ice cream. It took minutes to make and has all the taste of lovely creamy ice cream with none of the bad stuff!

Only two ingredients: Frozen bananas and raw cocoa powder!

I used about two bananas which I chopped and froze yesterday but they don’t take long to freeze so whack some in now and you can make it in a couple of hours! I popped these into my Vitamix (any high speed blender will work) and added 2 tbsp of cocoa powder – whizzed it all together and voila! You can add a little more or less cocoa according to taste if you want.

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You could eat straight away or pop in to ice lolly moulds for later :)

Sweet Potato Brownies – sugar, dairy and gluten free


Brownies are a staple treat for me, my husband and our friends and it’s usually the dessert of choice whenever we go to our friend’s house for dinner. My usual brownie recipe (see all the various recipes here) is a firm favourite and is also dairy and gluten free but I needed a sugar-free version for this weekend. My very special friend Colette from The Pure Form Fitness Kitchen is in training for an upcoming competition and I just couldn’t bring dessert that she couldn’t eat!

So thinking cap on…. I knew I could use sweet potato to add some natural sweetness but I searched and searched online and couldn’t find a recipe that didn’t have any added sugar of any type (aside from fruit/veg sugar). Every recipe had maple syrup, agave, coconut syrup or rice malt syrup in it. So I decided to have a go at creating one myself, based on all the recipes I found (and there are a lot of sweet potato brownie recipes out there!).

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I have to be honest – this was a complete experiment, but I’m pretty happy with the results. It’s tasty, it’s got a natural sweetness and it’s actually really good (even better the day after they’re made).  I’ve gone for the smallest amount of dates, apple and sweet potato possible to limit the amount of fruit sugars whilst still keeping the flavour.

You will need:

2 Sweet potatoes (approx 500 g in total – unpeeled weight)

50g Apple Purée (make your own – recipe here)

60g Buckwheat flour

80g ground Almonds

75g Cocoa powder

6 Medjool Dates

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Preheat the oven to 180 C

Peel and dice the sweet potato and then pop in a covered bowl in the microwave. Microwave until soft (a couple of blasts of 2 – 3 minutes). Using a fork mash up the sweet potato and then pop into a blender or processor. Chop the dates and add them to the sweet potato (it’s easier if you do this while the potato is still warm). Blitz it until the dates are well combined with the sweet potato. I actually like a bit of substance to the dates so I’m not fussed if it’s not smooth but it’s up to you.

Mix together the flour, almonds and cocoa and then stir the sweet potato mixture in (it will be quite stiff). Add the apple and mix well. You want a sticky, quite thick mixture – thicker than a normal brownie batter. If the flour won’t all combine (as it will depend a little on the moisture content of the dates and apple) then add a drizzle of warm water, but not too much.

Pour into a lined tin and place in the oven for 30 -35 minutes. The top will be crusty and if you stick a skewer in it will come out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin (if you can wait :)). Then slice and serve!

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