Banana blueberry oat bites


I had a spare half an hour and some over ripe bananas so whipped up these super quick, easy, healthy banana blueberry oat bites! These are a perfect snack at only 184 kcals (and really good fresh out the oven!) – a couple would make a great brekkie on the go too!

You can experiment with different options instead of blueberries – raspberries, coconut, chocolate chips etc would all work brilliantly! They are dairy free and can easily be made with an egg replacer if you want a vegan option, and can easily be made gluten free too if required (see below).

This made 9 bites (you could squeeze 12 out of the mix if you wanted smaller ones of about 154 kcals).

You need:

2 ripe bananas mashed

1 egg (or egg replacer if required)

1/4 cup liquid sweetener (maple syrup/agave etc)

1/3 cup nut butter (I used almond but any would work)

2 tbsp soya (or any) milk

A dash of vanilla extract

1 tsp baking powder (gluten free if required)

2 cups jumbo rolled oats (gluten free if required)

1 cup blueberries

Add everything except the oats and baking powder to a large bowl and mix well. Add the oats and baking powder and combine, then fold in the blueberries. Bake for 15 mins at 180 C (or until set).

Eat! 🍌🍒🍪

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Raspberry and vanilla heart biscuits 


I thought I’d have a go at some cute valentine’s biscuits this year. These can be gluten free or not depending on what flour you use. They’re dairy free but do contain eggs. They look fab and are a lot simpler to make than they look!


Give them a go this Valentine’s 🙂

You will need:

300g plain flour (or plain gluten free flour)

200g dairy free margarine 

120g golden caster sugar

2 egg yolks

30g freeze-dried raspberries

2 tsp vanilla extract

Put the flour and margarine (chopped or in small bits) in a food processor and pulse until it forms a crumb-like texture. Add the egg yolks and sugar and then pulse again until it forms a dough. 

Take 1/3 of the dough and put in a separate bowl. Add the vanilla extract to the remaining 2/3 and pulse again to combine. Then remove that dough and leave it in the fridge to chill. 

Put freeze dried raspberries into the processor and whizz until a fine dust. Add the 1/3 of the dough you removed to the raspberries. Pulse to combine.  Put the dough in the fridge to chill for at least an hour. 

Once chilled roll out the raspberry dough and cut out small heart shapes (I used a small 3cm heart cutter). It doesn’t matter exactly how thick they are as you will take all the cut out hearts and stack them together. Press them carefully together, ensuring you maintain the heart shape. Wrap in cling film and pop in the freezer for a couple of hours (you can do all this but one day and leave it overnight too).

When you’re ready to make the biscuits take the heart-roll out the freezer and the vanilla dough out of the fridge. Make three cylinders of the vanilla dough that are the length of the heart-roll. Stick them on to the heart-roll and carefully press them around it until you have completely covered the hearts in a circle. 


Wrap and pop in the freezer for 20 mins or so, then remove and cut into 1cm slices. 


Place them on a baking tray and pop them into a preheated oven at 170 C for 20 – 25 mins or until the edges start to turn golden. Allow them to cool on the tray for ten mins and then transfer to a wire rack.


They’re crumbly and yummy! Enjoy with a cup of tea or give them to someone you love!

Nancy’s Mince Pies! gluten and dairy free!


It’s that time of year again! Time for pies! 🙂

Pure and Simple Bakes

It’s mince pie time again! whoop! It’s so hard to find plant-based, dairy and gluten free mince pies that don’t taste like cardboard so I decided to make my own and boy are they good! I could eat these by the dozen… and in fact I do!

This recipe has been posted here before but has recently been featured over at Pure Form Fitness Kitchen so I thought I’d repost for you 🙂

and here’s a little video of me making them too :

For the Pastry:

4 oz Buckwheat flour
2 oz ground Almonds
5 tbsp Agave nectar
Up to 6 tbsp Water

For the Mincemeat:

3 oz Bramley apples, cored and finely chopped
6 oz Mixed dried fruit (I prefer raisins, currants, cranberries and apricots)
1 oz Vegetable suet
2 oz Raw sugar (coconut palm or dark raw muscovado)
Juice and grated zest of half an Orange
1…

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Chocolate and Nut butter molten pud – dairy and gluten free


Sometimes you just need a bit of chocolate pud and this little beauty is quick and easy to whip up, tastes amazing and has a respectable 14g of protein to boot!

You can use any nut butter you like in this (or you can leave it out completely) – I used normal peanut butter for two, and then cos my hubby isn’t a fan of peanut butter I put some ‘hognuts’ choc mint flavoured almond butter in the others – which I have to say, was AMAZING! These are best served immediately but aren’t too shabby when left to cool either 🙂 


You will need:

120g Ground almonds

2 Eggs

4 tbsp Cocoa powder 

6 tbsp Soya/almond/oat milk

2 tsp Vanilla extract

1 tsp Baking powder

4 tbsp Coconut or Maple syrup

4 small tbsp Nut butter of choice

Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Put the almonds, cocoa powder and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Add the two eggs, coconut syrup and vanilla extract and mix really well so there are no lumps.  


Grease four small ramekins with a little almond or olive oil and divide the mixture between them. Add a tbsp of your nut butter of choice in the middle and place in the oven for approx 15 – 20 mins. Start checking at 15 mins and remove when a skewer comes out clean. 


Eat whilst still warm! 

Apple, Plum and Blackberry Almond Cake 


I love this time of year – all my favourite fruits are just coming in to season. I was lucky enough to receive some delicious homegrown plums from my mum’s garden, some apples from my lovely friend Mandy, and we foraged for some wild blackberries locally so I couldn’t resist putting them all together in this yummy almond cake!

It’s so quick and easy to make and is gluten and dairy free too!


You will need:

125g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

200g Ground almonds

2 Eggs

100 ml Almond oil (you can use mild Olive oil if you prefer

1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

1/8 tsp Almond extract (if you have it)

Late summer fruits of your choice – plums,apples, blackberries etc 

Ground cinnamon (for dusting)

Pre-heat the oven to 180 C and line and grease a 20cm cake tin – if you have a springform tin then use that as it makes it easier to get it out without it breaking. If not a loose bottom tin is the best option.

Add the oil and sugar to a bowl and use a hand mixer to beat together (you can do it by hand with a fork if not). Beat in the eggs one at a time. Then add in the extracts and mix well. Fold in the ground almonds with a metal spoon. Once mixed pour in to the tin.

Prepare your fruit. Half (or quarter if they’re big) the plums, remove the stone. Peel, core and slice the apples, wash the blackberries. Place the fruit in to the batter. Push them down a little bit so they’re well bedded in there. Sprinkle the top with ground cinnamon.


Pop in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes. It is worth starting to check it at about 20 minutes. Once a skewer comes out clean then it’s done. Let it cool for 10 minutes in the tin and then carefully remove it and allow it to cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy!🙂

Ape Crispy Coconut Curls – A review of a delicious savoury snack!


Well these kinda won me over right from the off – the anthropologist and monkey Dr in me was naturally drawn straight to any snack called Ape Crispy Coconut Curls and thrilled to be sent some to try. They’re made by a small london based company which also ticks lots of boxes for me as I’m always keen to support small businesses.

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So unlike most coconut-based snacks these are actually savoury, not sweet – which is fab! Finding a healthy, tasty alternative to things like crisps can be really tough and I’ve tried lots of savoury snacks in the past but I think these hit the spot the best. They are little bags of delightfully crispy coconut shavings with either a light dusting of black pepper or salt.

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Coconut is an awesome thing to snack on – it’s full of fibre and has more protein and less carbs than other savoury snacks like popcorn or potato crisps. They’re also full of good fats – medium-chain triglycerides which are linked to lots of healthy benefits increased calorie burning and make a great fuel as they’re easy for the body to metabolise. They also have antioxidant, antiviral and antimicrobial properties.

So on to the curls themselves. They’re completely natural with only two ingredients – the coconut and seasoning and are dried, not fried. I tried both flavours and loved both of them! So much I wolfed them down!

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The slightly peppered flavour has just enough punch to give you a peppery hit without being overbearing and is super tasty. The lightly salted variety is also delicious – again not too salty but just enough to hit any savoury craving. The packs do look small so I was a bit worried they wouldn’t be enough but actually because coconut is so filling it was the perfect portion size.

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I will definitely be getting these again – they’re a brilliant on-the go snack, they’re only 107 – 109 kcals and are gluten-free and vegan so everyone can enjoy them! Grab yourself a few bags and start munching happy!

If you want to find out more check out their website www.apesnacks.com or their facebook page  and look out for them in Ocado, Morrisons, Planet Organic, As Nature Intended, Revital and Nourish (as well as some independent cafes etc).

 

Guilt Free Goodies – delicious treats! – a review


It’s been nearly 18 months since I first reviewed the lovely treats from Guilt Free Goodies. Since then it’s been such a pleasure to see Natasha’s business thrive and grow. I still regularly buy treats from her and have given them as gifts too. I thought I would repost my review just in case any of you haven’t yet had a chance to check out her goodies.

The best bit is that Natasha has very kindly set up a discount code for all of you lovely lot so if you place an order you will get 5% off! Just enter this code at checkout 🙂  NANCYGFG5%OFF

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Since my review her product range has really expanded with some truly delicious new treats – including delicious cookies, raw chocolates and chocolate truffles (as well as more flavours of her other treats like bites and bars). I’ve tried quite a few and they are all delicious – I particularly like the peanutter white chocolate truffles and raw raspberry ruffle truffle! Oooh and the salted caramel almond slice! Divine!

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There are also hampers available at the moment for christmas – you’ll have to get in wuick though if you want to pre-order them! check them out here.

And most exciting of all, Natasha has released her first ebook! So you can have a go at creating some treats at home! Order yours here. It’s beautifully put together and has a really lovely range of treats. It’s well written and set out and easy to follow so I’d definitely recommend it 🙂

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Here’s my review from last year:

I had the great pleasure this week of being sent a beautiful box of treats from Guilt Free Goodies.

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This UK, home-based business is run by Natasha and her partner, who produce homemade, all natural, healthy goodies – from granolas, nut butters to delicious treats and cakes. They’re perfect for anyone looking for dairy-free treats, diabetics and those wanting refined sugar-free treats (only natural sweeteners are used) or following the “paleo” diet. They’re also great for anyone who’s just health conscious and wants to watch what they eat. They can also make most of their products (granola, bites, energy balls and butters) suitable for vegans (some products do contain egg or honey).

I was sent this delightful selection of:

Peanut butter surprise muffin

Cashew butter, coconut and blueberry energy balls

Honey and peanut granola

Salted caramel almond bites

The first thing I noticed is how lovely the packaging was – all the items are beautifully packaged with lovely little touches like the handwritten notes. They’re also really securely packaged so nothing was damaged in transit.

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As instructed I popped the almond bites in the freezer (top tip – highly recommended!) and the first item I tucked in to was the cashew, coconut and blueberry energy balls. After a busy morning teaching spin and bodypump I was famished and needed something quick to munch on. These really hit the spot – full of goodness and flavour. Really satisfying and tasty too – not too sweet but sweet enough to satisfy 🙂

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Later that afternoon I was in dire need of a boost so thought I’d try the granola next – I served it with some homemade compote from my friend Colette and a big dollop of soya yoghurt.

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It was absolutely divine – crunchy and crisp with a great mix of nut and fruit. The sweetness wasn’t overpowering either which was great. I had to eek it out as otherwise I’d have eaten it all in one go! As it’s full of good fats (from the nuts) it really sustained me for my evening classes which is exactly what I needed. This would be just as good served with a little almond milk or yoghurt for brekkie, or as a decadent treat you could serve it with some coconut yoghurt or ice cream for dessert! Yum!

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I saved the muffin for a mid-morning snack with a cuppa. This was a really nice treat. Now it’s not like a traditional muffin so don’t be surprised. It’s a lot smaller but it’s also much denser. I really like this about it – it’s moist and squishy (in a good way!) and although small it’s exactly the right amount for a snack. I loved the peanut butter in the middle of this one. The nice thing about these muffins is that they really fill you up in a way traditional muffins just don’t.

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I saved the best until last – the almond bites. I was most excited about these – they looked delicious and I’m such a sucker for anything almond-based so I had high hopes.

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I was not disappointed in the slightest. These were so good! They’re definitely best out the freezer – the base goes all crispy and the caramel stays soft. The combination of the caramel, a whole almond in the middle (!), and lovely chocolate on the top is just fab!

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So all in all I was really impressed with all these products. They certainly live up to their reputation and satisfy your cravings without ruining any of your hard work!

I just love that this is a home-run business, run by someone who clearly puts their heart and soul in to their products. I’d definitely recommend them so do go and try them. You can also buy hampers or sample boxes and they’d make great gifts for the health foodlovers in your life. I’m really looking forward to ordering some of Natasha’s other products now – especially the loaf cakes and nut butters! 🙂

You can find out more about the products and place orders from their facebook page – here: Guilt Free Goodies or their new online shop here: Guilt Free Goodies Eshop.

Do check them out! and if you do let me know what you think 🙂