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 🙂

 

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Wild blackberry Banana N’ice cream


That time of year has come around again – wild blackberry foraging time!  We went for a lovely walk yesterday and got a huge box full so I thought I’d better start using them.

The sun was shining earlier and that obviously put me in the mood for ice cream so I whipped up a quick batch of wild blackberry n’ice cream.

Super easy as always – you just need  3 – 4 frozen bananas (peeled and chopped before freezing) and a good handful of blackberries. Pop the bananas in the blender (a high speed one) and blitz until they start to form a creamy mixture. Throw the blackberries in and blitz again. I like to leave some of the blackberries as pieces so I don’t blitz fully but it’t up to you.

Delicious as it is, or even better sprinkled with my cinnamon spiced coconut caramelised nuts (recipe here). Enjoy!

Fossil Fuel bars – a review 


As you know,  i’m always on the lookout for new healthy snacks and bars. Recently I’ve had the pleasure of trying some new energy bars – Fossil Fuel bars. These bars are paleo friendly bars made of fruit and nuts and are a fantastic on the go refuel option. Although not certified gluten free or vegan they don’t have any gluten-containing ingredients in them, or dairy or other animal products so are perfect for anyone avoiding those things.

They’re made by a small UK-based company and the creators are keen fitness fanatics so definitely on my wavelength 🙂

They have two flavours – coconut and cashew, and cocoa and macadamia.

Both are really yummy – they’re packed with dates for sweetness and nuts for valuable protein and energy. I had them as my afternoon snack before my evening classes and they both hit the spot. The cocoa and macadamia one is definitely my favourite – it’s so moreish but also really satisfying. Neither is too sweet and they are both really filling. They make a great option if you want something healthier as a snack or even a brekkie if you’re rushing out the door and need something to grab. If you’re craving chocolate I’d definitely recommend the cocoa and macadamia one!

These are most definitely worth trying if you’re looking for a healthy snack on the go. Do check them out and let me know what you think. They’re available from their website :  https://www.wearefossilfuel.co.uk

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.


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!