Clean peanut butter & banana ice cream

Summer is coming so bring on the ice cream! 

peanut butter ice cream

If someone had told me that making ice cream could be this simple I would never have believed them! This recipe was a bit of a trial run but it actually turned out really well. The best thing about this dish, aside from the fact it has peanut butter in, is that it’s really easy to make and doesn’t have any added sugar in. It’s a win, win situation really! The opportunities to add ingredients to this recipe/switch it up to change the flavour are endless as well.

You will need: (to make one large bowl)
– Four bananas
– 1 jar of Meridian’s smooth peanut butter
– A dash of vanilla essence
– 3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk

To make:
– Chop your bananas up, put the pieces into a sandwich bag and pop it in the freezer.
– Once the bananas have frozen put them in a food processor or smoothie maker (I used a smoothie maker and it works just as well) along with the rest of the ingredients and blitz.
– Pour in to a container and keep in the freezer 🙂

Enjoy!

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Super quick sausage & bean stew

A stew which takes less than 30 mins – yes please!

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If there’s one thing I hate it’s waiting for my food! After a run I am RUNGY (see what I did there!?) and the last thing I feel like doing is waiting an hour or so for my dinner to cook.

I love to food prep and I’m pretty good at making my lunches in advance but not so much with my dinners and they tend to end up being something super quick and easy. When I’m cooking for just me it tends to be meat/fish, veg & some sort of lentils/carbs if I’ve trained. It’s always something pretty basic really but when I’ve got friends over I feel as though I can’t just give them the basics.

So last night Dane and I did some tough intervals (a post to come on that session soon!) and after that I needed something I could rustle up quickly for us both…you don’t want to be around Dane and I when we’re hungry!

This stew is perfect for that. It’s full of flavour and packed full of fibre and protein from the beans. This means they’ll keep you feeling full and satisfied for longer.

If you’re a vegetarian then simply leave out the sausages, it’s more than substantial on its own I just love sausages!

I served mine on a bed of crispy kale or if you fancy something even more filling then serve it with brown rice or quinoa although don’t forget you are getting carbs from the beans.

You will need:
– Sausages (I used Tesco finest sweet chilli sausages which are delicious)
– 1 tin of cannellini beans
– 1 tin chopped tomatoes
– 1 tablespoon of tahini (I used dark tahini which I’d recommend if you’re digestive system is good because you’re getting the full benefit of the seed because in the light tahini the seeds have been hulled)
– Handful of sundried tomatoes (drained of oil)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 tsp chilli powder or a chopped red chilli
– 1 tsp cumin
– 1 tsp paprika
– Pepper for seasoning
– Coriander to stir in and to garnish

To make:
– Start by either grilling or frying your sausages (I’d always recommend grilling but if you’re frying then try to use coconut oil)
– Once the sausages are cooked simply put them to one side. Drain the beans and rinse them with water before adding to a large pan along with the tomatoes (chopped and sundried), tahini, garlic, spices, pepper and some chopped coriander.
– Heat in the pan for about 10 minutes or until everything is piping hot. You can either serve with the sausages on top or chop them up and stir them into the stew.

* If you’re making crispy kale heat the oven to about 180 degrees and when pre-heated put the kale on a baking tray, drizzle with oil and put in the oven for between 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on this as once it starts to crisp up it does so very quickly!

For afters I had some (and when I say some I mean that we ate it all) of this Lindt dark chocolate and a gingerbread green tea – so, so good!

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Enjoy 🙂

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The muscly mess burrito

The flavours are as powerful as the muscles it gives you! 

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Breakfast, lunch or dinner this burrito ticks the boxes for all occasions. This dish was a joint creation between Dane and I when basically we couldn’t decide whether to make beef tacos for dinner or have an egg scramble. We decided to combine the two and this muscly and delightfully messy burrito was the outcome.

This is a meal nutritionists would have on their plan and a meal athletes would devour for breakfast.

The lean minced beef provides plenty of protein for muscle growth and repair whilst the kale and broccoli means you’re getting fibre and plenty of vitamins from the dark greens. Dark greens are particularly good for heart health and some research even suggests they’re beneficial for fighting some cancers. Meanwhile the wholemeal wrap is a good source of low GI carbs while the avocado is full of good, healthy fats. Overall it’s got the makings of an insanely delicious meal packed full of good stuff that’s going to keep you full until lunch time if you have it for breakfast. It’s also a really great post-training dinner, ticking all the boxes for what your body needs after a tough session. It’s even good if you’re having friends over because burritos are fun to eat and you won’t have to make a lot because guaranteed no one will be able to comfortably eat more than two in one sitting without entering a Man V Food style eat-off!

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You will need:
– One packet of wholemeal seeded wraps
– One pack of lean minced beef (size depending on how many people you are feeding)
– One green chilli, chopped
– Two eggs
– One orange pepper, chopped
– Herbs/spices to flavour it (I used a bit of cayenne pepper & cumin)
– Handful of coriander – chopped
– Kale
– 1 ripe avocado
– 1 tsp coconut oil

burrito 1

To make:
– Start by preheating the oven to about 180 degrees.
– Next put a tsp of coconut oil into a frying  pan and brown the mince. Add the chopped pepper, chilli and spices to the pan. Fry until thoroughly cooked.
– While the mince is cooking put the kale on a baking tray and drizzle with a little oil before putting in the preheated oven to crisp up. This usually takes about 10-12 minutes – note, kale goes from crisp to burnt incredibly quickly so make sure you keep an eye on it!
– In a bowl mash the avocado up and spread on to the wraps.
– In a separate bowl beat the eggs as if you are going to scramble them and then add them to the main mince mixture, stirring all the time until everything is well mixed in.
– Put a handful of kale on top of the avocado before spooning the beef mixture on to the wrap. To check out how to fold them up burrito style watch this little video below.

Enjoy 🙂

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Quinoa three bean chilli topped with lime & baked avocado

Feeling like a culinary goddess after making this! 

chili

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 🙂

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Finding my happy pace: Easter weekend 18 miler

I can’t quite believe that it’s just 12 days until the Manchester Marathon!

18 miler

I’m finally allowing myself to get excited about the thought of reaching the start line now! After a couple of months of “should I or shouldn’t I” run the marathon I’ve settled on “maybe I can after all.”

If you’re familiar with my blog you might have read my posts on my sub 3.45 marathon goal for Manchester and then how an injury  threw a spanner in the works.

However, despite ruling it out for a while I’ve persevered and tried to get the miles in without getting too stressed that I was about a month behind where I should be in my training plan.

Anyway, this weekend, spurred on by the good weather and the lure of Easter eggs, I hit the roads to see if I could manage 18 miles.

I set out at about 7.50min/mi pace for the first couple of miles, trying to slow down to an 8.35 pace which would be my ideal marathon pace for Manchester. I soon settled in to a steady rhythm and despite feeling a twinge in my knee at mile 5 it wasn’t enough to quit so I carried on and it soon went.

Mile 9 came and it was time to turn around and run back. I took a bottle of water with me which had an orange flavour High5 Zero Electrolyte tablet in and I also had one tube of tropical punch flavour Shot Bloks.

In case you’re interested in how I fuel my long runs, I normally don’t take a drink or any energy gels with me unless I’m running more than 10-12 miles.

I had my first drink and Shot Blok at 9 miles and then every three miles after that, so another drink and Shot Blok at 12 and then my final one at mile 15. I didn’t end up drinking the whole bottle of water and had three Shot Bloks in total.

I felt good throughout the run and it was so nice to be running in the sunshine and without a jacket on for once! Hello spring!! 🙂

I managed 18 miles in 2 hours and 28 minutes which I was thrilled with! Last year when I was training for the Yorkshire Marathon I ran 20 miles in 3 hours and 3 minutes so I definitely feel as though I’ve improved which is a major confidence boost ahead of the marathon.

I finished with a victory dance in the street and a bemused look from a couple of dog walkers but I was so happy! I refuelled with an egg scramble and then some chocolate – not the best refuel I know –  before heading out for some shopping and amazing Hotel Chocolat hot chocolate with my mum. Later that evening Dane and I celebrated at Ambiente Tapas (he’d spent a good three hours mountain biking!) and it was delicious. Ambiente Tapas is my favourite restaurant so if you’re in Leeds or York it’s definitely worth a visit!

Heading out for tapas to celebrate.

Heading out for tapas to celebrate.

I’m now feeling much more confident about the marathon but will see how the next two weeks go and if there’s any sign of my injury flaring up I’ll re-think my plans.

Happy running! 🙂

Overcoming the fear

  The fear – that irrational feeling ahead of a run you just can’t shake for some reason.
Leads to excuses, skipping runs and being a general wimp! 

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Taking in the scenery on a weekend long run

I admit, I’ve had the fear recently but it’s about time I shook it off and got my legs moving again! I’ve still been running but one thing’s for sure is that at times I’ve definitely been wimping out of my long runs.

My knee hurt, my calf hasn’t been 100%, I’ve got too much work to do or it’s too late in the day to do it now. ALL excuses and all ridiculous ones. (Obviously don’t run if you’re injured but I’m not – touch wood!)

I’ve slowly been recovering from a knee injury which is why I think I’ve had the fear. It has made me reluctant to get back in to things and to really push myself. I fear that if I start, having told myself I’m going to do 11 miles and have to stop at 4, I’ll be gutted and grumpy for the rest of the day or worse still I’ll have to admit that I’m not recovered and have to rest!

So I’ve taken on the most illogical tactic ever of avoiding long runs and just sticking to shorter ones. But I pushed that to one side – finally!! – and headed out on a surprising 15 miler – see you later fear!!

Here’s how it went down:

Total  miles: 15.01mi
Total time:2hours 10 seconds
Av min mile pace: 8:00/mi
Mile splits:

1- 7.18 (oops started out too fast!)
2- 7.53
3- 8.06
4- 8.11
5- 7.48
6- 7.49
7- 8.07
8- 8.12
9 – 7.51
10 – 7.58
11 – 7.59
12- 8.12
13 – 8.08
14 – 8.24
15 – 8.05

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What I found, not surprisingly, was that my legs were fine, it was my mind that had been struggling and all I needed to do was pull myself together and get out there and enjoy it!

Whether it’s that you’re going to finish last, you’re too self-conscious to run in front of people or you’re worried that you’ll have to walk, there’s always an excuse you can find to get out of running.

There’s nothing wrong with a bad run though. If you do have to walk, don’t beat yourself up about it – you’re still out there moving and logging the miles! Letting go of bad runs is something I need to work on. If you have a bad one, take it in, think about what went wrong and why but only do this for five or ten minutes. Then, put it to one side and move on from it. Don’t give it a second thought or else the fear takes hold as it did with me and it made me annoyed at myself and my progress, or lack of it.

That said, I’m putting the fear behind me and I’m going to crack on and get on with it – starting with a lunch time run in the sun today. If I go slow, fine, if I have to walk, fine, at least I’m out there doing it and won’t get home tonight thinking “I should’ve gone for a run today.”

More self-loving and less self-loathing! Run because you love your body!

🙂 Go and find your happy pace!
#hannahshappypace

Avocado & raw chocolate mousse

You don’t know that you’re eating avocado but it’s a nice surprise to know that you are!

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This mousse has been on my list of creations for a long time now so I’m really excited to have finally made it!

Yes, this is made with avocado but spooning it into your mouth you’d never know that. It’s totally clean too so even though it feels like an indulgent and somewhat naughty pudding it’s actually packed full of goodness. I guarantee you’ll be able to trick your friends and family the next time you cook them dinner.

This recipe serves two people so double up on ingredients if you’re catering for more.

Mousse 3

You will need:
– 1 large, ripe avocado
– 40g raw cacao powder
– 1/4 cup of unsweetened almond milk
– 2 tsp of agave nectar
– 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
– Raspberries to decorate

To make:
– Mash the avocado until smooth. This can be done either with a fork in a bowl or in a food processor.
– In a separate bowl mix the cacao powder and almond milk until well combined – this does take some mixing.
– Stir in the agave nectar and vanilla extract and then any chopped raspberries you want in there as well.
– Pour in to individual bowls/ramekins and pop in the fridge until ready to serve.
– You can decorate the mousse with whatever you fancy from a few raspberries on top to a dollop of nut butter or crunchy granola or chopped nuts!

Enjoy 🙂

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Weeping tiger steaks & spicy Thai salad

This dish will make you weep with joy it’s so tasty! 

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Packed full of strong, punchy Thai flavours you will be amazed by how such simple ingredients can produce this flavoursome dish.

I served mine with lemongrass basmati rice or ditch the rice for a low carb option.

You will need:

For the steaks & marinade:
– 2 large sirloin steaks (adjust accordingly depending on how many people you’re feeding)
– juice from 2 freshly squeezed limes
– 2 tsp chopped coriander
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– pinch of ground ginger

For the salad dressing:
– juice from 2 freshly squeezed limes
– 3 tsp brown sugar
– 1 tbsp fish sauce
– 1 or 2 (depending on how spicy you like it) green chillies, finely chopped
– 1 tbsp very finely chopped coriander

For the salad:
– 
1 large cucumber halved, deseeded and finely sliced lengthways
– Big handful of chopped cherry tomatoes
– Handful of basil leaves
– Handful of mint leaves
– Handful of coriander leaves
– 1/2 of a white cabbage finely sliced
– Green beans, finely sliced

The low carb option

The low carb option

To make:
– Start by making the marinade for the steak by adding all of the marinade mixture into a bowl and stirring well. Pour over the steaks and leave in the fridge to marinade for about 30/40 minutes. Or, if you’re really hungry, leave it to marinade whilst you’re making the rest of the dish!
– Next make the dressing for the salad by mixing it altogether in a bowl and then set to one side. Prepare the salad and pour half of the dressing over it and mix well. Leave the other half of the dressing in the bowl to use later.
– Heat up your pan with a bit of oil in the bottom so that the steaks don’t stick. When the pan is well heated add the steaks and cook for 3/4 minutes on each side. This will give you a medium rare steak so if you like your steak well done cook it for longer. It also depends on how thick your steak is.
– Once the steaks are cooked leave them to rest for a couple of minutes whilst you plate the salad up (and rice if you’re having it). Chop the steaks in to thin slices and arrange artistically next to the salad on the plate – I tried!
– Drizzle the remaining salad dressing over the entire dish and voilà – get ready to weep!

After ours we had a chocolatey treat which is actually full of goodness – I’ll post the recipe for that on Tuesday so make sure to come back and get it out!

Enjoy 🙂

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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! 🙂

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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 🙂

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