Toasted Berry and Fig Charlotte


I still had some figs, locally foraged blackberries, blackcurrants and red currants left, so inspired by a recipe my friend sent me I thought I’d whip up a healthy, warm summer dessert.

This comes in at only 152 cals per portion (I made 6 portions) so it’s a great healthy pud! You could use any fruits you like – just make up the same total quantity.

You will need:

400g Figs

150g Blackberries

159g Blackcurrants

100g Red currants

6 thin slices of day old white bread

100g dairy free spread (or butter)

1 tbsp sugar (plus extra for sprinkling)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190 C.

Prepare the fruit – remove the stems from the currants, wash the blackberries and cut the figs into quarters (or if large cut even smaller). Pop the blackcurrants in a pan with a tbsp water and gently heat for a couple of minutes until the juices start to run. Add in the figs and continue to heat for another couple of mins until the figs are starting to soften.

Add in the blackberries and red currants and stir gently. Heat for a couple of mins until soft. I didn’t need to add sugar to my fruit but taste and if you feel it needs sweetening add a little sugar.

Spoon the fruit mixture into a medium dish or several small ones. I made three small ones and one slightly larger one!

Cut the bread into small triangles. Melt the spread in a small bowl, add the sugar and cinnamon and stir well. Dunk the triangles in the melted spread and arrange on top of the fruit in an overlapping pattern. Then sprinkle with a little more sugar and cinnamon.

Pop in the oven and bake for 15-20 mins or until golden and crispy. Best served warm!

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

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Fig, blackberry and almond cake


I was lucky enough to receive some home grown figs from my lovely friend Claire, and I had some more foraged blackberries so I thought I’d put them together in this yummy fig, blackberry and almond cake!

It’s quick and easy to make and really tasty! It is dairy free but does contain eggs, however you can easily use soaked chia seeds as an egg replacer if you want!

You will need:

125g unrefined Raw sugar or Coconut palm sugar

200g Ground almonds

2 Eggs (or you can use 1tbps chia seeds soaked in 3 tbsp water to replace each egg)

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)

Figs and blackberries (or any late summer fruits of your choice – plums, raspberries, apple 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 figs and 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!

Healthy blackberry and apple cinnamon crumble


I love blackberry season! You just can’t beat these delicious little berries and if you’re lucky enough to be able to forage for them too you get the additional fun of finding and picking them!

We got a great haul at the weekend so what better way to use some of them than in a crumble! This is a bit healthier than the standard crumble and comes in at about 184 calories per potion (I got 6 portions from mine) but tastes just as great! I didn’t add any sugar to my fruit at all – it was perfectly sweet as it was and with the sweetness of the topping you shouldn’t need to add any, but you can add if you feel you need it.

You will need:

3 cooking apples (bramleys work best)

A large punnet of blackberries (approx 200 – 300g)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

100g oats

50g flour (I used rice flour as it’s lighter)

30g sugar (I used ‘half spoon’)

1 tsp cinnamon

40g non-dairy spread

Prepare the fruit – peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks and rinse the blackberries. Place the apples in a saucepan with a tbsp of water and start to cook – they need a bit longer than the blackberries so this gives them a head start. Once they’ve started to soften a little add the blackberries and the cinnamon and stir well. Allow to simmer gently until the apples are cooked through.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.

Place the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add the spread and then use a fork or your fingers to rub it in to the mixture creating little lumps.

Pour the fruit mixture into whatever dish you’re using – I made 4 individual portions and one double portion.

Add the topping and then pop in the oven for 15-20 mins or until the topping starts to brown.

Remove and serve warm. I had mine with some scoops of blackberry and cinnamon N’ice cream!

Enjoy! Xx

Blackberry and cinnamon N’ice cream


A perfect pud for hot summer days and goes great with my blackberry and apple cinnamon crumble!

You will need:

3 bananas (chopped and then frozen)

Handful of blackberries

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Chop the bananas in to slices and freeze.

Place the frozen bananas in to a high speed blender and start to blend. I find it works best if you start with short pulses and stop regularly to scrape the banana back down. Once it starts to become creamy throw the blackberries and cinnamon in and whizz that up.

Serve immediately or pop in a tupperware and freeze for later use! Perfect with crumble!

Enjoy xx

Summer pudding – mum’s recipe :)


As I still had a load of summer fruits left I thought I’d try one of my mum’s favourite summer recipes – Summer Pudding!

You can use any fruits you like – I had a few gooseberries and red currants left so they went in, along with blackberries, strawberries and raspberries.

You will need:

  • Approx 500 – 750g fruit (best to make more as you can always have any excess for brekkie or pud with some yoghurt etc)
  • Sugar to taste (I used none as my fruit was all really sweet but up to you)
  • A small white loaf (a day old so its slightly stale)

Put berries that have tough skins (blackcurrants,  cherries , gooseberries etc) into pan with small amount of sugar if needed and a little water.  Heat gently until berries soften and juices run.

Leave to cool for a few mins and then add soft fruit – raspberries, blackberries, strawberries etc and stir, gently.  If required you can add more sugar to taste.

Cut medium slices of white bread (one day old) and remove crusts.

Line a pudding basin with clingfilm cut larger than the basin.  Cut the bread into shape to line the basin with a disc for the base.

Drain the fruit, saving the juices in a separate bowl. Dip the bread into the juices and place the bread around the inside of the basin, plugging any holes with small pieces of bread. Pack the cooled fruit well into the basin.

Put a larger disc of bread (or several pieces cut to shape) on the top.

Overlap the cling film to cover the top of the bread.  Put a saucer or small plate on the top and weigh down with a tin or similar weight to compress the fruit.

Chill overnight, then turn out and serve with more fruit and yoghurt!

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Enjoy! Xx

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 🙂

 

Coconut Apple Bites – a delicious alternative to apple pie!


These are absolutely delicious – quick and easy to make and so much better than a slice of apple pie – but taste just as good – if not better!

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Depending on how large your apples are you may need more or less of the crust – you may just have to adjust. Don’t worry about having to buy oat flour – you can make your own – just pop some porridge oats in to a blender and blend until fine.

Here’s a video showing you exactly how to make them 🙂

You will need:

1 cup Oat flour

2 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Nutmeg

1/2 cup Desiccated coconut

4 tbsp Coconut syrup (I use Bali Nutra)

1 – 2 Apples (depending on size. I used Bramley’s)

Warm water – up to 4 tbsp

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Pre-heat the oven to 175 C.

Peel, core and dice your apples – you want chunks about an inch square. If you don’t want them to go brown you can pop them in cold water with some lemon/lime juice in. I don’t really mind if they go a little brown so I don’t bother.

Pop the oats and coconut in a bowl, mix the spices in and stir together. Add the coconut syrup and mix to form a dough. You need a workable but sticky dough so you may find you need to add a little water. I prefer not to add more coconut syrup as it gets too sweet but it’s up to you.

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Take a spoonful of the crust mixture and flatten in your hand. Pop a piece of apple in the middle and cover it in the crust dough.

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Pop on a lined baking tray. Once all the apples are covered pop in the oven for 10 – 15 mins – turning once. You want them to crisp up and go golden brown.

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Eat warm or allow to cool and store in an airtight container for later.

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