Healthy pancakes with blueberries

Pancakes make the perfect Sunday brunch or weekend breakfast…

pancakes

They also make the perfect post-work out snack if you add some protein powder to them, making them the perfect balance of protein and carbohydrates. If you top them with some honey or golden syrup you’re making the most of that recovery window where it’ll go straight into your muscles to refuel rather than to be stored as fat!

You will need: 
– 1/2 cup of coconut flour
– 1 tbsp oats
– 3 eggs
– 1/2 cup of milk
– any fruit you want in there
– 1 tbsp of natural honey or golden syrup if you want to sweeten them

To make:
– Mix all of the ingredients together in a blender or by using a hand blender.
– Put a dollop of your chosen oil ( I use coconut oil) into a pan on a low heat and when the oil has melted add a spoonful of the mixture to the pan.
– Flip the pancakes when you see the surface begin to ‘set’/bubble. Stack them up and then add whatever toppings you fancied.
– I like to top mine with honey, blueberries and peanut butter!

Tag me in your creations using #hannahshappypace and let me know what you top yours with.

🙂

 

Easy homemade guacamole

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If there’s one food that’s extremely versatile it’s avocado. This homemade guacamole is super easy and quick to make and can be used as a dip, added to your lunch, spread on wraps or as a garnish on certain dishes.

You will need:
– 1 red chilli
– 1 red onion
– 1 whole lime
– 1 ripe avocado
– Black pepper for seasoning
– tomatoes (optional)

To make:
– Start by finely chopping the chilli and red onion and put into a bowl.
– Peel and dice the avocado and add to the bowl along with the black pepper for seasoning.
– Next add the juice of one lime and mash together with a fork.
– If you want to add tomatoes I’d recommend a variety of red and orange ones. Simply chop finely and add to the mixture as well.
– VoilĂ  – homemade guacamole ready in a flash!

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Instagram and Twitter using #hannahshappypace

Quinoa three bean chilli topped with lime & baked avocado

Feeling like a culinary goddess after making this! 

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I could go on and on about the health benefits of this chilli but instead I’ll keep it brief and let you crack on and make it for yourself to discover how tasty it really is!

Quinoa is protein rich and will also help you feel fuller for longer due to the amount of fibre it packs.  It is also rich in iron and magnesium which help keep red blood cells in good health and keep bones and teeth strong and healthy.

The kidney beans are packed full of cholesterol lowering fibre which gives you energy whilst stabilising blood sugar levels which is good for slow burning energy and again, helping you to feel fuller for longer. The black beans are high in fibre as well as protein and we all know how good protein is for muscle growth and repair.

Not to mention, this is a seriously tasty dish with a kick from the chilli and the lime and one you can rustle up in less than 40 minutes and save for lunch and dinner for several days.

It’ll also please any vegetarian friends and if you’re a fan of Meat Free Monday then this dish is perfect.

You will need:
– 1 tsp coconut oil
– 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
– 1 green chilli, chopped
– 2 packs of quinoa – I used a mix of red & white
– 1 can black beans, drained
– 1 can sweetcorn
– 1 can kidney beans in chilli
– 1 can of chopped tomatoes
– Handful of sundried tomatoes
– 1 tbsp ketchup
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
– 2 limes
– 1 avocado
– Handful of chopped coriander

To make:
– Start by heating the coconut oil in a large pan before adding the garlic and green chilli and cook until the garlic starts to brown.
– Add the chopped tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, kidney beans, quinoa, ketchup, sundried tomatoes and seasoning and stir well.
– Add hot water to a cup and add the stock cube, stirring well before adding to the pan. Squeeze the juice of one lime into the pot before leaving to simmer and reduce for about 20-25 minutes on a low heat.
– Put the avocado into the oven 10 minutes before the chilli is ready and chop some coriander. After 10 minutes take the avocado out of the oven, peel and chop in to slices. Serve the chilli in bowls decorated with a lime wedge, sliced avocado and a sprinkling of coriander.

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale although it’s more than substantial on its own.

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace

 

Chia seed overnight oats with peanut butter & banana

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Not to blow my own trumpet but I still can’t get over how incredible this was!

I have been wanting to try overnight oats for ages after lusting over various pictures on Instagram.

If you’re on Instagram or read various health/fitness magazines and websites you might have also seen that chia seeds are incredibly popular in oats and smoothies for example. I decided to combine the two and satisfy my interest in them in this breakfast creation!

This is a seriously nutritious breakfast packed full of protein, healthy fats and vitamins. Here’s a breakdown of why these ingredients are such a great way to start the day.

– Chia seeds are high in fibre, rich in calcium and iron as well as antioxidants which help to absorb the toxins in your digestive system.
– Bananas are rich in potassium, fibre, magnesium and add a natural sweetener to this breakfast. They are also a good source of carbs.
–  Blueberries are rich in antioxidants which help to boost your immune system to protect against illness. They also have anti-inflammatory properties.
– Peanut butter (although it has to be healthy peanut butter!)  has plenty of protein which helps to build and repair muscle fibres and will help you to feel fuller for longer. It is also packed full of good fats which will also fill you up and stop mid morning snacking!

This powered a long run for me and it had everything I needed to fuel a good training session. Not to mention it’s a fab way to jazz up regular porridge! Basically, eating this will fill you up, keep you full of energy and give you that warm satisfied feeling of deliciousness!

You will need: 
– 1 large ripe banana
– 250g oats
– 1 tbsp chia seeds
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
– 1 tsp cinnamon
– 240ml of unsweetened almond milk (or sweet if you have a super sweet tooth!)
– 1/3 jar of Meridian’s smooth peanut butter (or a 1/4 if you want less of a peanut butter taste & add 1 tsp of agave nectar honey- I like the Groovy Food Company’s)
– For the topping you can add anything you want – I topped mine with some more banana, blueberries and a little bit of crunchy granola because I am addicted to granola.

To make:

– Mash the banana in a bowl and in a separate bowl add the rest of the ingredients (apart from the toppings of course.)

– Add the banana to the main mixture and stir thoroughly. Make sure that peanut butter is mixed in well as it has a tendency to clump together.

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– Pour the mixture into individual airtight containers (I like the clip glass jars) and pop in the fridge overnight. If you don’t have jars then put in to bowls and cover tightly with cling film. Enjoy in the morning with your favourite topping!

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Enjoy! 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram with #hannahshappypace

 

 

 

Clean Carrot Cake

“This feels like a naughty treat.” 

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Those were the words of my boyfriend Dane as he ate a spoonful of my freshly baked carrot cake, shortly followed with “now can I have a cup of tea!”

Yes, this cake has no flour, no added sugar and even the “icing” is clean. As you may have noticed if you’ve read some of my other recipes, I like to keep things simple and this cake was no exception. It’s super easy to make and doesn’t require any overly fancy ingredients.

You will need: 

For the cake:
2 red apples
250g of oats
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 heaped tbsps of grated carrot
2 large eggs
4 tbsp of agave nectar honey
1 tsp baking powder

For the icing:
One small tub of natural fat free Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp honey

To make:
– Start by peeling the apple and chopping it in to small pieces before putting in a pan with a couple of tbsp of cold water. Cook on a medium heat and add the cinnamon, stirring occasionally. As the apple begins to warm and soften mash it with a fork.
– Once the apple is soft and is partly mashed then take off the heat and set to one side.
– In a food processor add the oats, eggs, honey, and grated carrot before adding the apple and baking powder as well. Blend until thoroughly mixed and well combined. It’s definitely best to use a food processor or a blender here rather than just a mixing bowl and spoon as the oats need to be blitzed a little bit to represent flour in the cake.
– Grease a cake tin and add the mixture before popping in the oven at about 180 degrees for minimum of 20 minutes. To test when the cake is done poke the middle with a knife and if the knife comes out clean then the cake is ready.
– To make the  frosting add some of the yoghurt to a bowl before adding the icing sugar and honey. Be careful about how much yoghurt you add as it depends what size your cake is and it shouldn’t be so runny that it runs off the cake!
– Make sure the cake is completely cooled before you put the icing on.

The "icing"

The “icing”

Enjoy 🙂

Tag me in your creations on Twitter & Instagram using #hannahshappypace

Food cravings: what they really mean

Whether it’s that chocolate bar during the post lunch slump or the urge for a cool glass of Pinot on a Friday night, we all get cravings.

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give in to our cravings but it’s all about balance and it wouldn’t be healthy to give in to them every single day.

I decided to write this post after I began craving some odd things. When I started CrossFit for example, all I wanted to eat for breakfast lunch and dinner was pineapple. After a quick internet search I learnt that my body was craving pineapple because my muscles were inflamed. They weren’t used to being worked in the way that CrossFit was working them and that craving was the result.

Ever since then I have been fascinated to learn about what particular food cravings mean. Often when we crave chocolate or something salty our body doesn’t actually need these things, it needs something else.

Research conducted by vouchercodespro.co.uk found that there are more nutritious ways to satisfy these cravings. For example, you might be interested to learn that when you think you’re craving a bar of chocolate your body actually needs magnesium which can be satisfied with a small handful of nuts. Similarly, when you fancy a glass of wine that craving can be satisfied with a serving of protein.

Check out their helpful infographic below:

Research from vouchercodespro.co.uk

Research from vouchercodespro.co.uk

Now that’s not to say that every time you crave something you should reach for an alternative but if you’re craving the same thing every day it might be a good idea to see if you are lacking in certain nutrients. A sign of low iron for example is when you are craving a good steak or any kind of red meat.

Aside from that, here are five of my tips to tackle unhealthy food cravings:

  1. Distract yourself – When we have food cravings it can often be because we are bored. If you find yourself craving something, start doing something else. Keep yourself busy and I guarantee that with your mind on other things it will soon pass.
  2. Have a drink – Often when we think we are hungry it’s actually because we are thirsty. When a craving hits, head to the kitchen for a glass of water or juice instead.
  3. Pay attention to what you’ve recently eaten – I always find that if I eat something sweet I then start craving other sweet foods for the rest of the day. Make a note of when cravings hit and you’ll soon start to see a pattern.
  4. Have healthy alternatives on hand – Keep nuts, fruit or carrot/celery sticks at work so that when you start feeling like you want to give in to a craving you’ve got healthy alternatives on hand.
  5. That said, giving in to a craving is fine – Why not try just having a quarter of what you would usually have though. If it is chocolate you really want, have a couple of squares of dark chocolate rather than a whole bar.

Guilt free banana, blueberry & peanut butter bread

I can promise you that the title is not a trick; this really is a guilt free treat.

Thanks to the ‘caveman’ paleo plan there is such a thing as sin free cake. The paleo plan focuses on eating what our hunter-gatherer ancestors would have eaten, steering clear of processed foods. This twist on a classic banana bread is full of completely healthy and wholesome ingredients and provides a healthy sweet treat for breakfast, dessert or an afternoon snack.

I’ll admit that the peanut butter isn’t paelo but I couldn’t resist; the slightly salty & crunchy texture against the sweet moist bread proves an ideal combination.

The recipe is adapted from a pumpkin bread recipe on www.paleoplan.com, which is a great site if you’re a follower of the paleo plan, or even if you want to try new recipes using some alternative ingredients. If you fancy knocking this up from what you’ve got in your cupboard though, simply switch the flour used here for regular plain flour. One of the great things about banana bread is that you can add whatever you want, so if not blueberries why not try walnuts and dates or pumpkin seeds and cranberries.

Ingredients:
– ½ cup almond flour
– 1 tbsp cinnamon
-1/4tsp ground ginger
– ½ tsp baking powder
– 2 heaped tbsp peanut butter (organic Meridian smooth is the BEST)
– 2 large eggs
– 3 ripe mashed bananas
– 3tbsp coconut oil
– 1tbsp vanilla extract (natural)
– 1 cup blueberries

Method:
– Preheat the oven to about 180 and line a baking tin with a little bit of the coconut oil.
– Mix the cinnamon, ginger and baking powder in to a bowl. In a separate bowl add the peanut butter, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla, mashed bananas, blueberries and flour until well combined.
– Add the dry ingredients to the peanut butter mixture and mix well.
– Pour the mixture in to the lined tin and bake for about 40-50 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing. Topping with more peanut butter afterwards is optional but highly recommended.

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