Fruit balls! (raw, dairy and gluten free :) )

I’m back on the Pure Form Fitness Ultimate Fat Loss Programme so have cut out gluten, dairy and sweetners for the last 2 weeks (amongst other stuff!). It’s going great – I feel good and have lost body fat and kg already! You should definitely check it out πŸ™‚ Whilst I’ve been on the programme I’ve been trying out a few healthy snack options and these two turned out pretty well so I thought I’d share!


Lime, apricot and pistachio balls

100g Pistachios

185g Dried apricots

1 tbsp freshly squeezed Lime juice

A few more pistachios and some dessicated coconut to roll them in

Finely chop the pistachios for rolling the balls in and mix with the coconut and place to one side. Put the apricots and lime juice in a processor and blend until it forms a smooth-ish paste. Add the nuts and pulse to combine. I like to leave the nuts so they’re not pulverised too much! Once mixed use damp hands to roll them into balls and then roll them in the pistachio-coconut mix. Can be eaten immediatley or place in the fridge to chill.

Cherry-almond fig balls

125g Almonds

125g Dried figs

40g dried Cherries

1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tbsp freshly squeezed Orange juice

a few Almonds and some dessicated coconut to roll them in

Finely chop the almonds for rolling the balls in and mix with the coconut and place to one side. Put the 125g almonds and cinnamon in a food processor and blitz until finely chopped. Add the figs and orange juice and blitz again until the mixture forms a sticky dough. Add the cherries and pulse until mixed. Once mixed use damp hands to roll them into balls and then roll them in the almond-coconut mix. Can be eaten immediatley or place in the fridge to chill.

They shouldn’t need it but if you REALLY wanted to you could add a squirt of sweet freedom or agave to the mix.


Hello Herman – a healthier version of the friendship cake!

I had the pleasure of meeting a new friend last week and I’d like to introduce him to you all. Many of you will know him, he’s been all over the world and he’s a very friendly type so is always keen to meet new people…

His name is Herman, the German!

Baby Herman

He is a sourdough starter πŸ™‚ Basically you keep him warm (well room temp), feed him and then after 10 days you make a cake (or bread) with him and you give some baby hermans away to your friends so they can do the same. Think chain letter in baking form!

For more info on him check out this site all about Herman and how you can start your own and spread the love to your friends too πŸ™‚

So I’ve spent the last 10 days nurturing Herman and yesterday he finally grew up and look what he became!

This is a modified version of the herman friendship cake recipe. I used soya milk, unrefined raw sugar and spelt flour to feed Herman and for the cake included apples and blackberries πŸ™‚ I did use eggs in the recipe but will try substituting them out next time.

The recipe is as follows:

1 cup Unrefined raw sugar
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt
2 cups Spelt flour
2/3 cup of Almond/ Olive oil
2 eggs
2 tsp Vanilla essence
2 cooking Apples
1 cup of Blackberries
2 heaped tsp Cinnamon
2 heaped tsp Baking powder

Mix all the ingredients into Herman once you get to Day 10 (detailed instructions are here) and then bake in the oven at 180 C for 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean πŸ™‚

Can be frozen πŸ™‚


Dad’s Ginger Cake (dairy-free, low-gluten)

Nine years ago today my dad passed away. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t think about him, miss him and wish he was still here.Β  It may seem a little odd but I like to do something “nice” to remember him on this day and since baking is something I love (and the results are something he loved!) I baked a ginger cake this weekend in his honour! Ginger cake was one of his favourites, though being a bit odd πŸ˜‰Β  whenever he was offered a sliceΒ  he would usually tell us he couldn’t possibly have it then and that he’d save it and have it for breakfast.. and he did! πŸ™‚ We always used to take the mickey out of him for it and it still makes me chuckle to think about it. This cake is sticky and gooey and just gets better the longer you leave it in the tin (IF you can leave it alone that is!)

So, Dad, this cake’s for you! I’m sure you’d love it πŸ™‚

1/2 cup Almond oil
1 cup Coconut sugar / unrefined raw sugar
1/2 cup Molasses
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
2 cups Spelt flour or gluten free flour mix
1 tsp Baking powder
1 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
2/3 cup boiling Water
6 tbsp pureed Apple
1/4 – 1/2 cup Crystallised ginger

Preheat the oven to 170 C and line a small cake tin with greaseproof paper (I used a square brownie tray approx 8 inch square).

Mix the sugar and oil together in a large bowl. Add the molasses, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in to the mix and stir well. Sieve the flour with the baking powder and ginger into a large bowl and leave to one side. Put the bicarbonate of soda into a wet measuring cup and add the boiling water then immediately pour the mixture into the sugar/oil/molasses mix and stir to combine. Add the flour gradually and stir well until there are no lumps.
Add the apple and mix well. Finally stir in the crystallised ginger. Pour the batter into the tin and bake for 40 minutes. Allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes then turn out on to a wire rack to cool. Then enjoy!

Snack attack!

I couldn’t decide if I wanted a savoury or sweet snack this afternoon so I made both!

These are super quick and make great snacks to munch on while watching a movie on a rainy bank holiday afternoon…. πŸ™‚

Sugar and Spice Almonds

1/3 cup Whole almonds

1 tsp ground Cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground Ginger

pinch ground Nutmeg

Squirt of Sweet Freedom or Agave

Heat a small frying pan over a high heat for a few minutes. Throw in the almonds (don’t use any oil), and keep tossing them to avoid buring. After a few minutes squirt in the sweet freedom/agave and sprinkle the spices. Remove from the heat and stir to coat the nuts. Once coated remove to a plate or greaseproof paper and allow to cool.

Spicy seeds

1 egg white (I’m yet to work out what I could use as a substitute here)

2 tsp Chinese five spice (a mix of cinnamon, fennel, star anise, ginger and clove)

1 tsp ground anniseed

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of ginger

More cinnamon (if you like your cinnamon!)

85g Sunflower seeds

85g Pumpkin seeds

This makes a lot so reduce the quantities if needed! I found it hard to get a decent spicy flavour and I still don’t think I’ve cracked it but it’s getting closer! You may want to experiment with the spice quantities. Preheat oven to 150 C. Whisk the egg white lightly, add the spices and then add in the seeds. Make sure they’re well coated, then spread out on a baking sheet covered with lightly oiled baking parchment. Place in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes. Allow to cool then break up and eat!

Now you just need a good movie to enjoy while you munch on these πŸ™‚

Concious Chocolate – chocolate that’s easy on the conscience! :)

Well I’ve been lucky enough to be sent some of Conscious’ fab raw chocolate products to review.

Conscious is a small UK company that makes handmade raw chocolate. They’re all organic, handmade and free from gluten, soya, dairy and refined sugars. They also happen to be delicious!

Raw chocolate has considerable health benefits as the cacao beans aren’t roasted so they retain more of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and theobromine which make chocolate “good” for you.Β  They only use agave syrup to sweeten them which is another bonus.

They have a range of different flavours but I was sent:

Pure – 65% cacao with vanilla
The nutty one – brazils, cashews, hazelnuts and walnuts
Chilli hot – cayenne pepper
Love Potion No. 9 – maca and essential oil of rose
Essential orange – essential oils of orange and tangerine
Wild at heart – maca, vanilla and wilde blue-green algae
Mint hint – essential oil of peppermint

The best thing about these bars is the texture – they’re so silky smooth and they just melt in the mouth. They’re more like a truffle in texture than a chocolate bar and they’re beautifully creamy and rich. They all taste amazing but my favourites were the essential orange and mint hint, closely followed by chilli hot. The pure and plain ones were very nice, and the nutty one had very generous chunks of nut in it which is always good. I’m not a huge fan of rose flavoured chocolate generally but this bar was actually ok. It wasn’t overly floral and the maca balanced out the flavour nicely. The wild at heart bar tasted very nice but I couldn’t really detect the blue-green algae (that may be a good thing!) so it’s presumably there as a health benefit that doesn’t impact on the flavour too much.

I gave my official taster, Colette some pieces for her and her hubby Rod to taste too and they were similarly impressed with it. I’ll let them tell you all what they thought of them themselves though πŸ™‚

The really great thing about these bars is that they’re so rich you really don’t want to eat too much of them in one go. A few pieces after dinner is plenty. The fact that they’re free fom refined sugars as well is fab, so it means you can enjoy these treats even if you’re trying to control your sugar intake. They’re also suitable for diabetics which is handy.

You can get these from local health food shops of from Conscious direct. I highly recommend you treat yourself to a bar (or two!) πŸ™‚