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.

🙂

 

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Five prep tips if you’re an early morning gym-goer

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  1. Hotel miniatures – To save you from carting around big bottles of shampoo, conditioner and body wash stock up on mini bottles from hotels whenever you go away. I came back from Italy with loads of miniature shower gels, shampoos and conditioners which are perfect to keep in your gym bag. Alternatively you can buy small travel bottles to fill with your own shampoo/conditioner/body wash to take to the gym to save space in your bag and make sure you’ve always got them.

    travel container

    Travel container from superdrug.co.uk

  2. Pack your bag – This is such a simple one but it means you can have that little bit longer in bed if you know your bag is packed and ready to go. Laying out your gym kit the night before is also one less thing to do in the morning so you’re not dashing around trying to find some clean socks or the shorts you want to wear. Basically it’s just a good time saver and takes the unnecessary stress out of your early morning routine. Don’t forget to pack a couple of carrier bags too for your sweaty clothes and wet towel.
  3. Hair dyer creased clothes – I always pack my gym bag the night before and more often than not I’ll have packed a top for work that should really be hung up rather than folded and stuffed into a gym bag. Come 7.30am when I’ve finished my session it’s in desperate need of an iron. Never fear though because the gym hair dryers come in pretty handy here. Use them on the warm/hot setting and it blows out the creases in no time at all.blow-dryer-311549_640 (1)
  4. Dry shampoo and a doughnut– I wish I had the patience to carefully blow dry my hair and then curl/straighten it as some women do every morning at the gym. Truthfully I just can’t be bothered after a tough session, I just want to get ready and go so I can eat! If I’ve not done a session where I’ve got seriously sweaty I’ll spray some dry shampoo in my hair and then use my faithful doughnut. Sadly I’m not talking about a Kirspy Kreme here but the hair doughnut you stick your pony tail through and pull your hair over the top to create a giant messy bun. These are absolute lifesavers and believe it or not they actually work better on unwashed hair and you can’t even tell you’ve come straight from the gym!

    Wearing the doughnut post 1 hour run before a quick turnaround for a Crossfit WOD a couple of hours later.

    Wearing the doughnut post 1 hour run before a quick turnaround for a Crossfit WOD a couple of hours later.

  5. Food prep & post workout snacks– I always make my breakfast the night before to save time and money. If you make it the night before you know you’ve got it to devour straight after your workout and you don’t need to worry about how and when you’re going to refuel. Check out my overnight oats recipe which is a great post workout breakfast to have on the go. Also it’s worth packing a snack to take after if you’re someone who takes a while to get ready or likes to eat breakfast at your desk. Aim to eat the snack (or your breakfast) within 30 minutes of finishing your workout.

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    My overnight oats (recipe in previous post)

Paleo mini muffins with peanut butter frosting

Peanut butter muffins that aren’t bad for me…I’ll take 10 please!

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I love baking and I also love turning my favourite treats in to clean bakes. However baking is not my forte, especially clean baking but these were a huge success!

When I’ve previously tried to create some ‘clean’ cakes I’ve used coconut flour and found that it’s a pretty hard ingredient and consistency to work with often leaving the cake too dry and crumbly. Never fear though for I have found the perfect ingredient to make your clean bakes as light and fluffy as a ‘regular’ cake should be! All hail almond flour.

Almond flour is a little more expensive than coconut flour but I’d say it’s definitely worth it if you’re someone who does a lot of baking and will use it regularly.

These muffins are possibly my biggest clean baking success yet and I’m putting it down to the almond flour.

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You will need: (makes 12 muffins)
For the muffins…
– 2 cups of almond flour
– 20 dates, chopped
– 6 eggs
– 4 tbsp maple syrup or natural honey
– 1/2 tsp baking powder
For the frosting…
– 4 heaped tbsp of smooth peanut butter – I used Meridian’s which I find is best for this icing
– 4 tbsp of icing sugar
– 1 tbsp maple syrup or natural honey
– raw cacao nibs for decorating

To make:
– Start by pre-heating the oven to 250 degrees. Then either using a hand blender or a smoothie maker mix the almond flour, chopped dates, eggs and maple syrup/honey together.
– Once the muffin batter is thoroughly mixed transfer to some muffin cases and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 12 minutes. NOTE: check on them after about six minutes as mine cooked super quickly!
– Take the muffins out of the oven when cooked and leave to cool. To check if the muffins are ready insert a knife in to one and if it comes out clean then they are cooked.
– To make the frosting put the peanut butter, icing sugar and maple syrup/honey in a bowl and mix together. You may need to add more peanut butter or icing sugar if it isn’t the same consistency that regular frosting would be.
– Once the muffins have cooled spread the frosting on top and decorate with a few raw cacao nibs and enjoy!

Let me know if you make these and tag me in your creations on Twitter and Instagram using #hannahshappypace. My Twitter is @hannahbryan91

🙂

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!

Tag me in your creations 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

 

 

 

Why it’s good to be nuts about nuts

Nuts are such an underrated snack.

Different types of nuts offer different nutritional benefits but they’re all packed full of goodness including plenty of fibre, good fats and protein. Yes, they are high in fat and 100g cashews typically contains 553 calories but before you vow never to eat a handful again let me tell you why nuts ARE in fact good for you and although high in fat, it’s good fats and fat like this is our friend to use a tired but true clichĂ©.

30g is the ideal snack size for nuts so try and stick to that. I’m talking about unsalted, non-honey coated nuts here too!

They’re so easy to snack on as well. You don’t need to keep them in a special Tupperware and they have a long shelf life which is perfect if you want to buy in bulk.

I’ve put together a bit of info to highlight the nutritional benefits different nuts offer.

Let’s start with…

 Almonds:almonds
These nuts are packed full of fibre which is good for your digestive system. They’re also rich in vitamin E which is a great antioxidant and is good for the skin. If you’re avoiding dairy then stock up on almonds as they’re calcium and phosphorous rich. Finally, these nuts are especially good for your heart if they have their skin on as it is full of heart-protecting nutrients.
Try them in porridge or add ground almonds to home-made energy bars.
30g contains roughly 173 calories.

casjhews  Cashews:
Cashews are a definite brain booster as they contain lots of magnesium which is supposed to help with age –related memory loss. Some studies have even gone as far to say that eating cashews can help to warn off Alzheimer’s. Not only that but these nuts are also rich in iron and zinc which is good if you’re a vegetarian and lacking minerals usually found in red meat.
Try them in this really easy to make Pad Thai dish.
30g contains roughly 166 calories.

brazil nuts  Brazil nuts:
If your immune system needs a boost then grab a couple of Brazil nuts. They’re a good source of selenium which boosts immunity and also helps those who have a low thyroid function. It has also been suggested that selenium might help to prevent certain cancers including prostate and breast cancer. An ideal serving would be 3-4 Brazil nuts, it’s important not to over-do it with these.
Perfect simply as an afternoon snack or on your cereal.
30g roughly contains 197 calories.

hazelnuts  Hazelnuts:
We all love a hazelnut shot in our coffee but like other nuts these boast a high amount of good fat. Hazelnuts in particular are full of mono-unsaturated fats which can  improve heart health. The nutrients in hazelnuts help to balance out homocysteine levels – amino acid homocysteine has been linked to heart problems according to medical research.
Try them in home-made crunchy granola.
30g roughly contains 184 calories

walnuts  Walnuts:
They can often look like a brain and the image fits as these nuts are rich in omega -3 and mono-unsaturated fats which are both food for the heart. They are also a good source of calcium, iron, selenium and magnesium. Calcium and iron will help with strong bones whilst selenium is a fantastic anti-oxidant. Walnuts have also been proven to help lower cholesterol.
Try them in a salad with raisins or grapes and feta cheese.
30g roughly contains 196 calories

 

Peanut & almond butter cups

Staring at gooey peanut butter, threatening to spill over the top of a newly opened jar must be what true love feels like.

I love peanut butter and these no bake treats are perfect for combining that love with one of my other true loves, chocolate.
But these treats are sugar free and are made with completely natural ingredients.

I was kindly sent some Meridian Foods crunchy almond butter and smooth peanut butter to sample. Meridian Foods peanut butter has long been my favourite PB brand; not only because it tastes amazing but also because it has nothing added to it.
I hadn’t tried the almond butter before so this gave me the perfect chance to experiment  and I couldn’t wait.

PB jars

Recipe makes 8-10 cups
You will need:
75g Meridian crunchy almond butter
75g Meridian smooth peanut butter
1 heaped tablespoon of honey
50g shredded coconut
25g sultanas

For the chocolate:
75g coconut oil
75g cacao powder
2 tablespoons honey
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

Mix the almond butter, peanut butter, honey, coconut and sultanas until well combined.
Put a tablespoon full of the mixture in to cake cases before flattening down with the reverse side of the spoon to create an even finish.
Set these aside whilst you make the chocolate. To make the chocolate, melt the coconut oil in the microwave and then add the cacao powder, honey and vanilla extract and mix well.
Top the peanut and almond butter mixture with the melted chocolate and then pop in to the freezer for about 20 minutes until they are set.
Once they are set, they should be kept in the freezer to keep firm.  And there you have it, a simple and super quick way to rustle up some treats.

You can use just almond butter if you’d prefer or just peanut butter rather than combining them both and you can change the dried fruit depending on what you feel like. The almond butter was so tasty and the slightly nutty texture meant that these bites had a bit of a crunch to them as well – perfect!

 peanut butter and choc cups