Friday, 14 November 2014

More Genius Food Swaps

Yesterday I wrote about eating banana ice cream instead of the dairy-sugar-laden kind, so today I thought I'd share a few more of my favourite food swaps...

Almond butter over Peanut butter WHY? Almond butter boasts 25% more fibre and less saturated fat.

Pure vanilla extract over Sugar WHY? Swap half the sugar in any recipe for a teaspoon of vanilla extract to halve the calorie content. If you're going to use vanilla essence, use one-and-a-half times the amount of vanilla extract.

Rye bread over Multigrain bread WHY? Rye bread is better for your bowl health, has a lower GI and only 50 calories per slice.

Spelt pasta over Wheat pasta WHY? Spelt is great at regulating the body’s metabolism, aiding in the creation of sex hormones, increasing circulation, building strong bones, improving the immune system, boosting digestive function, lowering blood sugar, and reducing cholesterol levels in the body.

Coconut milk over Double cream HOW? Scoop out the thick layer on the top of a can of coconut milk, whip it up and you'll have a double-cream alternative that's rich in lauric acid - which helps to protect you from infections.

Cacao nibs over Chocolate chips WHY? Cacao is basically raw, unprocessed chocolate. It delivers a great dose of antioxidants and magnesium whithout the added sugar. I like to add it to my muesli.

Greek yoghurt over Mayonnaise HOW? Add some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice to greek yoghurt for a mayonnaise substitute - you'll hardly notice the difference. This will save you more than 85 calories per tablespoon.

Prune puree over Butter in cakes HOW? Next time you're making a chocolate cake try replacing half the oil or butter with prune puree which will save you 500 calories per 100g. Put 100g pitted prunes in a blender and whizz them up with 300ml water.

Choc shot over hot chocolate powder WHY? Choc shot by Sweet Freedom is a great product that's Dairy free, low GI, and has 25% fewer calories than regular hot chocolate - a 5g tsp contains only 13.7 calories. Stir into hot milk for a great hot chocolate alternative.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

Banana Ice Cream!

You’ve probably had it with all things Frozen, but just hear me out.

This is a genius food swap!

If like me - you're a bit mad and keep craving a delicious icy treat (in the middle of winter?!) - here's an easy one: Banana ice cream.

No milk, no cream, no sugar.

Simply freeze some bananas and puree for a healthy treat full of vitamins B6, C and potassium.

You can add in any extra's you like - my favourite is Maca Powder - which I find adds a lovley malteser-like flavour, and almond flakes for a bit of crunch - and added goodness.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Children's Xmas Books to buy now

I'm sure there are more than a few of you who might be saying “too soon,” after reading a title about Christmas - but for those of you who are holiday freaks (like me) November isn't too soon to be thinking about presents!

I am officially looking forward to decking my halls and walls, but no tree this year - Ernie would wreck it in minutes!

I've been sitting down with a cup of tea daily to read all the glossy holiday catalogs that keep landing on my doorstep.

I took it to the next level the other day and actually did some Xmas window shopping. I found myself cooing over everything in the kids' book departments.

So I thought I'd put together a round-up of the best looking books I spotted - some classics, some new - if you're with me on feeling festive already - I hope you enjoy!

Friday, 7 November 2014

Righteous Banana Bread

As if this blog needed another banana bread recipe!

I love my Best Banana Bread - and my Skinny creation is pretty good too - but today I found myself with some overripe bananas and leftover buttermilk - it also happened to be raining - so the gods were basically telling me to stay in and bake banana bread!

I've named it the Righteous Banana Bread, as wherever possible I've been buying full-fat, fairtrade, organic, free-range, and local produce - so if at all possible I urge you to do the same - and enjoy every piece of it, guilt free!

This loaf has a wonderfully rich earthy flavour - thanks to the dark brown sugar - and a very satisfyingly crunchy crust.

I decided to dice the banana and only slightly mash it up - which leaves you with nice moist chunks of banana dotted throughout.

I've steered clear of white flour, white sugar, and bad fats - so feel free to share it with your little ones.

P.S this smells soooo good!


2 Cups  Plain wholemeal flour
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of soda
½ Tsp Sea salt
110g Organic grass fed butter, plus extra for greasing
1 Cup Fairtrade dark brown soft unrefined sugar
2 Free-range organic eggs
3 Overripe fairtrade bananas, diced, and slightly mashed
85ml Buttermilk
1 Tsp Vanilla bean paste

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Add the eggs, bananas, buttermilk and vanilla bean paste to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well.

5. Fold into the flour mixture.

6. Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.

7. Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown.

8. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool, or as long as you can resist before serving.

Monday, 3 November 2014

My Wedding Part 2

Here's some more photos from my wedding album. Once again credit goes to our wonderful friend and talented photographer Julia Mortimore.

I bought my dress second hand on eBay, it's from Lou Lou Bridal - it's the LB19 with a custom built train. I really liked the elegance of a high neckline, and the 1950's inspired silhouette.

It came with the pearl studded veil, and I bought my headband from Primark!

My shimmering glitter fabric shoes are from Russell & Bromley - they're the Minnie mid-heel court shoe by Stuart Weitzman.

My engagement ring is a Victorian antique, and my wedding ring is a skinny diamond and gold band by the American designers Catbird - they make my favourite kind of delicate jewellery. I was lucky enough to visit their shop in Williamsburg, New York.

My something blue was my 'I do' underwear from Victoria's Secret Bridal collection.

My son wore a baby blue romper from a wonderful children's clothes shop in Tunbridge Wells called Sue Hill, she also designed my flower girl's dress, and her shoes were from Monsoon.

I bought my mother, maid of honour, and myself floral dressing gowns on Etsy, to wear whilst getting ready.

My maid of Honour wore a peach coloured dress from Alice + Olivia.

Mine and my maid of honour's hair and make-up was by Louise Large - she was amazing and really helped to bring my vision to life, and keep me calm!

We chose Babies' Breath as our main floral element because of its rustic, straight-from-the-garden aesthetic; and all the other flowers were white with some green foliage for colour.

The wedding was designed around a English country garden feeling. I had so many ideas for what I wanted, almost too many!

Almost everything I had imagined came to life, the best part though was seeing all our closest family and friends together in one space, and enjoying themselves.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Apple Crumble Cake

Winter is here, and so is the desire to eat comfort food…combined with copious amounts of pudding.



For 1 tin, 30X20 cm

170g Butter
170g Caster sugar
3 Eggs
450g Cooking apples, peeled, cored and grated
340g Self-raising flour
285g Sultanas
2 Tsps Mixed spice

140g Plain flour
85g Butter
55g Demerara sugar
1 Tsp Mixed spice

Preparation method

1. Pre-heat the oven to 140C. Grease and line a 30X20 cm tin.

2. Cream the butter and sugar together until soft and creamy, then beat in the eggs one at a time.

3. Add the apple, flour, sultanas and spice and fold together. Put into cake tin.

4. Rub together the topping ingredients until it looks like breadcrumbs and sprinkle over the cake. Bake for approx. 55-60 minuets, until golden brown.

5. Serve warm as a pudding with custard or cream or allow to cool and slice into fingers.

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