Bake sale tomorrow! all funds for primate conservation 🙂

Dr Nancy Priston


In Aid Of Primate Conservation,

April 26th 9 am until sold out!

Come and buy a yummy treat and help me save the buton macaque!

I cycled from London to Brighton to raise money for the project, and after all that peddling, I’m HUNGRY! so what better way to fix that than with a BAKE SALE!

This Thursday  (26th) I will be selling delicious homemade cakes and biscuits in the Pavilion Club reception to raise funds  for the project. There will be cupcakes, brownies, lemon drizzle cake,  biscuits, crunchies, and even some monkey-themed cakes and many more. You can buy whole cakes to take home or a slice as an after work-out treat!

I will also be running a raffle with some fantastic prizes including champagne, chocolate, an ipod, vouchers, a massage and signed sports memorabilia!! Tickets will be 2 for £1 but buy…

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This is one of my recipes that’s been featured on My friend Mel made some of these this weekend (and delicious they were too) so I thought I would reblog this here – you can switch the nuts and nut butter for any type you fance (peanut, hazelnut, almond etc) 🙂

Lemon Chia seed cookies (dairy free, low gluten)

I know I know – not ANOTHER lemon and chia seed recipe but I’m really loving this combo at the moment and having fun trying out some recipes with them 🙂

This cookie recipe is a departure from my normal suite of ingredients as I’m using some Soya yoghurt. I’ve seen it in recipes before but never used it so thought I’d have a go! It can be substituted for silken tofu if you can’t have soya though.

These need to be flattened out really thin before you bake them otherwise they end up cakey and not crispy (but if you like your cookies like that then go for it!)

1 1/4 cup Coconut palm sugar/ raw unrefined sugar
3/4 cup Olive oil
3/4 cup Soya yogurt (natural or lemon flavoured works best)
1 1/2 tsp Vanilla extract
2 1/2 Cups Spelt flour or gluten free flour blend
3/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
3/4 tsp Bicarobonate of soda
Zest of 1 large Lemon (plus juice of half a lemon if desired)
1/3 cup Chia seeds

For decoration: Raw golden icing sugar and a few drops of lemon juice

Pre-heat oven to 175 degrees.

Mix the oil and sugar together until well combined. Add the Soya yoghurt and vanilla extract and stir well. Sieve in the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt and mix well. Finally stir in the lemon zest and chia seeds, and the lemon juice if you like your biscuits lemony!

The batter will be quite sticky and not like a traditional biscuit dough but don’t worry. Drop small spoonfuls onto a greased baking tray. Using the back of a fork flatten these out until they are only a few mm thick (unless you like your cookies cakey in which case don’t!). Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes. Keep an eye on them, if they start to puff up then just flatten them a bit with a fork. Bake until they are golden brown. Remove and allow to cool on the tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool. Once cool you can ice them if you want to – just mix up the icing sugar with a few drops of lemon juice or water until you get a thick consistency then pipe over the biscuits 🙂

Raw gluten free, dairy free chili chocolates

The Easter bunny was a bit late getting to my house this weekend but thankfully he did finally make it .. and look what he brought!

These are super easy and quick.

50g cacao butter

40g cacao  powder

1 – 2 tbsp sweet freedom/ Agave (to taste)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Melt the cacao butter and then stir in the rest of the ingredients. Pour into a silicone chocolate mould and leave in the fridge to set. For the eggs you need to do each half separately then use a bit of melted mixture to glue the set halves together. These chocs don’t do well at warm temperatures so store them in the fridge until ready to eat!

Lemon and Chia seed biscuits / cookies (dairy free, low/no gluten)

They say better late than never eh? well I do anyway, and that’s certainly the case with this post. As you’ll see from the shapes I cut these biscuits out in these were designed as Easter biscuits but with everything I had going on this weekend with my sponsored cycle I just didn’t manage to get this post up before Easter sunday! I don’t think it really matters though. These are a nice light, crispy, biscuit that is great for any occasion. The lemon and chia theme is running through from my last recipe (lemon and chia seed muffins) – I’m a huge fan of lemon flavoured bakes and I’m loving chia seeds right now so apologies for that! 🙂

These biscuits are super easy to make and you can cut out any shapes you like. The dough can be a bit crumbly but it is just about manageable. This would be a good thing to try with the children over the holidays and they can have lots of fun decorating them. You can use any nut butter you like. If I’d had it I would have used almond I think as it works well with lemon, but the cashew is also pretty good – you get a hint of cashew but it doesn’t over power the lemon flavour and i complements the chia seeds nicely. These could be modifed with other flavours too – ginger, almond (using almond extract and butter), cinnamon – the world is your flavour oyster!

1 1/4 cups White spelt flour / gluten-free flour blend / Rice Flour
1 tsp Baking powder
1/4 tsp Himalayan rock salt
2/3 cup Cashew butter (or almond butter)
3/4 cup Coconut palm sugar / raw unrefined sugar
1/4 cup Almond milk, or other non dairy milk (soya milk, rice milk, coconut milk)
1 – 2 tsp Natural lemon extract
Zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup Chia seeds

If you are icing them – raw unrefined icing sugar and lemon juice

Preheat oven to 175 C. Sieve the flour, baking powder, and salt into a small bowl. Beat the cashew butter and sugar together until well combined (ideally use a hand beater, but if not then just stir a lot!). Beat in the milk until fluffy, followed by the chia seeds and lemon extract and zest. Stir in the dry mix with a spoon (or the beaters on a slow speed) until just combined. The dough will probably be quite crumbly. Gather it together with your hands and knead into a ball. At this point if the dough seems too dry then add a tablespoon of warm water. You don’t want the dough to be too moist, but it does need to be handleable. I found it best to leave the dough a bit crumbly and just roll out small amounts at a time. If your nut butter was very runny you may need to chill the dough before continuing. The dough can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days if wrapped well so you can make this in advance if necessary.

Roll out the dough until it’s a few mm thick and then cut out using cutters of your choice. You will probably need to use a palette knife to carefully move the biscuits to a greased baking tray. Bake in the oven for 12 – 15 minutes. I like my biscuits very well done so I tend to leave them in as long as possible! 🙂 They will be a bit soft when you remove them so allow them to cool for 5 mins on the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Once cool mix up some icing – use enough lemon juice to create a pipeable paste and then use a piping bag to decorate the biscuits. If you don’t have a piping bag just use a small plastic sandwich bag – out the icing in to one corner then snip the end of the corner off and you can use it as a piping bag. Allow to set and then enjoy with a cup of tea!

Not a recipe again I know but I just thought you might like to see how I got on with my sponsored ride 🙂

Dr Nancy Priston

Well I did it! On Saturday I cycled from Hampton Court to Brighton, in my monkey suit!

This is a bit of a long post but  please bear with me. I wanted to firstly thank EVERYONE who has supported me – both in terms of sponsorship and moral support. I’d like to say a massive thank you to my mum, Dr Ann Priston for all her help and support leading up to the ride and for manning my support car on the day! I couldn’t have done it without her and I think the whole experience was probably worse for her than it was for me, so thank you! 🙂 Secondly I would like to show everyone excerpts from the ride so you can all see that I did it, in the furry suit! I’ve been so touched by everyone’s kindness and generosity and I really can’t thank you all…

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Stop Press: Monkey seen cycling from London to Brighton!!

Well I did it! On Saturday I cycled from Hampton Court to Brighton, in my monkey suit!

This is a bit of a long post but  please bear with me. I wanted to firstly thank EVERYONE who has supported me – both in terms of sponsorship and moral support. I’d like to say a massive thank you to my mum, Dr Ann Priston for all her help and support leading up to the ride and for manning my support car on the day! I couldn’t have done it without her and I think the whole experience was probably worse for her than it was for me, so thank you! 🙂 Secondly I would like to show everyone excerpts from the ride so you can all see that I did it, in the furry suit! I’ve been so touched by everyone’s kindness and generosity and I really can’t thank you all enough. A big thank you to the Pavilion Club too for allowing me to set off from their carpark and for all their support.

So far I’ve raised an amazing £855.80! I can’t believe it – thank you so much to everyone who has donated so far. If anyone was waiting for me to complete the cycle before sponsoring me then you can still sponsor me here 🙂 I’m still a way off from my total goal of £1500 so any donations are always welcome.

Now for the gruesome details of the day!

Here’s a map of my route:

You can see the full route in detail (downloadable if anyone wants to repeat this journey!), with photos at various points on my mapmyride site here (zoom in and click on the little camera icon to see photos of the route)

And here’s a little graph of the gradients and all the hills I peddled up! No wonder my legs are sore 😉

I set off from the Pavilion carpark at about 11:30, loads of people came down to see me off which was such a fab way to start.

furred and suited and ready to go!

I peddled off out of the carpark and off towards Thames Ditton. I won’t lie – as I left the carpark in the overcast, damp weather I was begining to wonder what on earth I’d let myself in for!

After a slightly damp ride through Tolworth and Ewell (where I picked up a fellow cycler who cycled with me for a mile or so) I pushed my way up Banstead hill, past the station and made it to my first pit stop – a quick Jelly Tot refuel at mile 10!

Jelly tot stop number 1 at the 10 mile mark!

I only stopped for a few minutes and then pressed on. The next section of the ride was a mix of ups and downs, with a few big hills. I’d been in need of a loo break since about mile 4 so we’d agreed to try to stop somewhere. I peddled past quite a few pubs and a starbucks and was sure mum would have stopped the car at one of them but I checked every car park as I went past and didn’t see it. So I decided to cycle on – down a slightly hairy sliproad that nearly took me on to the M25 (thanks to a really stupid cycle path layout!) and then on, under the M25 down the A23 towards, and under, the M23. By mile 25 I still hadn’t seen the car so I stopped and gave them a ring. It turned out they were about 10 miles behind me after stopping in a pub to wait for me. It seems they slightly underestimated my speed!

Riding up Turner's Hill for the next protein bar stop at mile 25

We managed to meet up with each other again at mile 25 at the top of Turner’s Hill for another refuel with a protein bar, some jelly tots and a refill of the water bottle!

Setting off again from Turner's Hill

I then set off again through some lovely countryside – some ups, some downs (really the South Downs should be renamed the South Ups to be honest!), and some great wildlife. In fact I was so busy looking at the baby bunnies, sparrowhawks and deer as I whizzed past that I managed to miss one of my key turnings in the village of Ardingley and took a slight detour of a couple of miles through the delightful village of Lindfield! The wind and rain picked up at this point of the ride (as you’ll see from the vid below with my billowing monkey outfit!) but the scenery kept me going, as did the beeps from motorists (which I hope were beeps of support rather than annoyance ;)) and some really encouraging words from fellow cyclists and walkers on the route 🙂

By this point I was cold, damp and pretty tired. My hip flexors were sore and my knees were starting to ache. I was actually grateful for the monkey suit as it did at least keep me a bit warm, but everytime I stopped I got cold pretty quickly so I tried to keep any stops to a minimum. Onwards and upwards (or downwards!) through Wivelsfield…

After this there was time for one final stop for me to psyche myself up for the final big hill – Ditchling Beacon. Although I knew it was quite a climb I hadn’t fully prepared myself for it and when I first caught sight of it as I came down Beacon Road it loomed up ahead like a solid wall! More of a mountain than a hill 😉

The moment I caught sight of the hill....

I made it up though – I put my bike into the lowest gear and just kept peddling. I managed not to stop and aside from some slightly hairy close calls with passing cars I got to the top unscathed, though it was lucky no one could hear me on the way up – the air was a teeny bit blue as I huffed and puffed my way to the top!

At the top of Ditchling Beacon! 🙂

I spent about 5 mins catching my breath and taking in the view at the top and then decided to head off before I got too cold. Then it was plain sailing for the last 6 miles! Mostly downhill from here in to Brighton, so it was bike in to top gear and then I was a super speedy monkey all the way in to Brighton – top speed 31 mph – wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee! 🙂 Some fantastic views of Brighton and the coast on the way down but I didn’t want to stop to take photos – was just too excited to be finishing!

Finished! Total time 4 hrs 49 mins including stops, 3hrs 49 mins of actual cycling time and 5hrs 18 if we include the bits where I had to wait for the support car! lol! Either way I’m super chuffed. I was expecting 5 – 6 hrs or more given the conditions, and as I’ve never cycled further than 10 miles in one go and only got the bike 2 weeks ago I think it’s pretty good! 🙂


Final chance for some photos on the beach before I got out of the monkey suit and into some dry clothes!

Now to swim the channel....


Save the monkeys :)

Ok so I know this isn’t a post about baking or a recipe but this is the other part of my life that I’m passionate about. When I’m not creating yummy baked goods I spend several months a year out in Indonesia working with local communities to conserve the endangered Buton Macaque. This monkey is only found on one tiny island and it’s threatened by illegal logging and conflict with local people. I work with a local NGO to provide sustainable solutions to the problem so the monkeys and the local people can both survive.

There is more information about my project on my other blog

This saturday (april 7th) I am cycling 60 miles from London to Brighton to raise money for the project this summer…. in a furry monkey outfit!













I am still looking for sponsorship 🙂

What your support will achieve:

  • £5 – chilli seeds for 5 farmers to plant. Monkeys don’t like chilli so this keeps them away from the farms, reducing conflict with local people.
  • £10 – one local person to work for a day following the macaques in the forest. This provides an income for local people meaning they don’t have to resort to logging etc  and provides vital information about the macaques for the project.
  • £30 – buys netting for one farm. This protects the crops without harming monkeys and reduces conflict.
  • £100 – funds a half day workshop in the local school, educating children and their parents about the macaques and how to conserve them.
Thank you very much
Nancy 🙂