Healthy Banana Bread

Ever looked in the fruit bowl and seen overripe, spotty bananas? Then ever looked in your fridge and saw you had no eggs… That was the dilemma I was faced with earlier. Thankfully I had some egg whites leftover from the weekend – I guess I have my mum to thank for never letting me throw any food any. I dare you to leave the high-calorie, high-fat ingredients of the traditional banana bread behind and try this alternative.

My banana bread recipe uses 100% whole wheat flour, is naturally sweetened and has a light crumb – plus it hardly uses any equipment so there’s not a lot of washing up!

You’ll need… 

  • 2 eggs (or 2 egg whites)
  • ⅓ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 large bananas
  • ¼ cup milk (I used skimmed cow’s milk)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or 25g of vanilla protein power
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
  • 1¾ cups whole wheat flour
  • Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…

Preheat oven to 165 degrees and grease a load pan with some coconut oil.

If you’re using just egg whites whisk then until they are light and fluffy, and if you’re using normal eggs just beat them with a fork.

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Add the melted coconut oil and honey to the eggs and whisk.

Mash the bananas and also add them to the mix.

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Then add your milk, baking soda, vanilla protein power, salt and cinnamon, and stir.

Carefully fold in the flour with a metal spoon.

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Pour your batter into the loaf tin and sprinkle with cinnamon.

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Bake for about an hour, or until  a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.

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How do you like your banana bread? For some extra protein, I like to top it with peanut butter. If I’m feeling indulgent, a dollop or honey or a large slab of butter.

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Beef and quinoa meatballs

Quinoa – an overhyped superfood or the real deal? I still remain a massive fan as it has twice the protein content of rice or barley and provides all 9 essential amino acids. Chia seeds are also another favourite of mine as they expand up the 9x their original size upon encountering water, which helps to keep you fuller for longer.

So when I came across this beef and quinoa meatball recipe by Jo Pratt I was in love. I’ve slightly adapted it to include fresh tomatoes. But it’s real easy to make, is protein rich and full of slow realising carb-energy.

You’ll need… 

  • 250g lean minced beef
  • 250g cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp black olive tapenade
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 chilli
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 jar of passata
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 large handful of basil
  • salt and peper

 

Combine the beef, quinoa, chia seeds, garlic, tapenade, egg, paprika and chilli in a large bowl.

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Roll the mixture into balls and chill for half a hour. This should make around 12 – 15

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Using 1 tbsp of olive oil, gently fry the meatballs until they are golden brown.

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In a separate pan, heat the remaining oil and soften the onions. Chop or blend the tomatoes.

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Add these the chopped tomatoes alongside the passata and tomato puree to the onions and heat through.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes to ensure that they are cooked all the way through.

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And voila! Serve with pasta.

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Fix me a snack?

I’m not exactly a die-hard clean eater, on a Friday night you’ll probably find me with a slice of pizza in one hand and a glass of red wine in the other. But come Saturday morning I’ll be fuelling up on avocado toast, getting ready for a long session at the gym.

If you’re anything like me you’re constantly thinking about your next meal and can’t make it through the day without snacking. This has been the biggest change in my diet by far and one that hasn’t been easy!

So without further ado, here are my go to snacks:

  1. Carrots and hummusCarrotts and Hummus
  2. Nakd bars
  3. AlmondsAlmonds
  4. Boiled eggs on a cracker
  5. Soya beansSoya beans
  6. Sweat potato crisps
  7. Yoghurt
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  8. Dark chocolate
  9. Peanut butter and applePip & Nut
  10. PopcornPopcorn

 

 

 

 

Rye Soda Bread

There’s nothing I love more than a toasted slice of bread with a cup of tea. Nutritionists and dietitians the world over are encouraging us more and more to eat whole grains and move away from white bread and refined grains.

I won’t get too much into the nitty gritty of why white flours and white breads are bad – but essentially they’re stripped of the most nutritional aspects and high in sugars. In a sandwich of two slices of white bread, you can expect to get nearly 3 grams of sugar from the bread alone.

Whilst in Copenhagen I ate a lot of Rye bread. It’s a key part of the Danish Delicacy, Smørrebrød – an open sandwich. I’ve recently found out that Rye contains over 30% of the recommended daily amount of fibre, so it’s fair to say that I am a big fan. I was so impressed that rye bread was also used in some of the mainstream sandwich shops and cafes, like ReTreat.

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I’ve made my own Rye bread a couple of times and I’ve really fallen in love with it.  I adore the earthy flavour and it tends not to go soggy or sticky. It also keeps fresh for days. It’s moist because it contains yoghurt, whilst the crust is crunchy and is ideal for sandwiches.

It’s a recipe I’ve adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Everyday Super Food, and Dagmer’s Kitchen. It’s quite dense as there’s no yeast but it’s really filling. I usually have a slice or two for breakfast topped with avocado and smoked salmon.

You can substitute the nuts and seeds for whatever you fancy but a mix of hazelnuts and sunflower seeds is my favourite. Sun-dried tomatoes and walnuts work really well too!

If you want to make a sweeter loaf add 100g of dried fruits, such as raisins or apricots, and add 2 tablespoons of maple syrup. The sweeter loaf is lovely with peanut butter and banana.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 250g rye flour
  • 100g wholemeal four
  • 50g oats
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 100g hazelnuts
  • 50g sunflower seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1 egg
  • 300ml of yoghurt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180° C and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil,
  2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including the nuts and seeds
  3. Add the wet ingredients and mix until you have a smooth batter,
  4. Bake for an hour, then lower to 140° C and bake for 30 more minutes,
  5. Take the bread out and let it cool a little before removing it from the tin.

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