Almond, vanilla & seed granola!

  
I was bored of eating porridge everyday so thought I’d give granola a whirl! This is a recipe I’ve adapted to make my own!

Ingredients:

2 cups oats (gluten free if needed)
Half cup almonds (chopped or can buy ready chopped/sliced)
Half cup sunflower seeds
2 tsp vanilla
Generous desert spoon sugar (I use coconut sugar, adjust to your taste)
5 generous tbsp coconut oil
Generous tsp cinnamon
Half tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup dates chopped into quarters (optional)

Preheat oven to 160C, fan 140C, gas 3, 325f and line a baking sheet or try with baking paper.

In a mixing bowl add everything apart from the vanilla and coconut oil and mix to combine.

  
Melt oil and vanilla gently in a small pan then tip into dry ingredients and mix well until everything is evenly coated. 

Tip onto your baking sheet and spread into and even layer. 

  
Pop in the oven for half an hour until golden brown, check every ten minutes and give it a bit of a shake or move it around with a wooden spoon so it cooks more evenly.

Leave to cool before keeping in an airtight container! 

To serve I mix in a desert spoon of flaxseed, add half a sliced banana and pour over cold oat milk! 

  

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I quit sugar (almost entirely!)

So I decided to quite sugar! Here’s why..

Although avoiding the foods that came up on my York Test intolerance test, I was still experiencing flare ups every few days, although they weren’t as bad, it was a bit disheartening after following the advice of the nutritionist. I was still convinced that it was food related though. The first few weeks of the diet I’d seen a big improvement, then things seemed to plateau and I wasn’t getting the really clear spells in between the flares, that I had been. The only thing I could think of was that I’d switched to maple syrup as my sugar substitute and was baking more sweet treats than I had been. Also I’d been drinking a lot more coffee than I used to (which I was sweetening).

During my last flare up I decided to go super strict and cut out the sugar substitutes, lower the caffeine, only have one or two pieces of fruit, and up the water. The result was this:

  
The first photo was the 4th of June during the last flare up, the last photo a couple of days ago, the other two were in-between but I didn’t make a note of the dates!

These are photos of my face when I first started the diet and the first clear skin period since starting, the flares up until the 4th June weren’t as severe as this so cutting the other food was helping, but since quitting sugar, my skin has been like the last photo with no flare ups, I’ve even been able to switch to a thinner moisturiser!

  
I’m now feeling better than ever, cutting sugar hasn’t only helped my skin but made me feel a lot happier and healthier generally! Surprisingly I haven’t felt like I miss any of the banned foods, apart from the odd time when I can smell chocolate or buttered toast!

I’m still getting a chocolate fix from a hot cocoa – I use oat milk and cacao powder and find now that its sweet enough just as it is! Another good sweet treat is a banana milkshake – frozen banana blended with oat milk (I tried it with a couple of dates and found it too sweet!)

This is me today! (Ps how flippin’ cool is my vest from Truffle Shuffle?!?! Thank you to my gorge chap for getting it for me!)

  

If you suffer from a skin complaint and have tried the usual triggers – wheat, gluten, dairy etc I’d definitely give the no sugar thing a go!

Turkey burgers, no egg, no breadcrumbs!

 Fancied something different for lunch today and as my chap is home thought I’d make us some burgers! I was a little worried that without an egg or breadcrumbs they wouldn’t work but they worked a treat! 

I used 500g turkey mince (or could mince your  own) 
one large onion, peeled and chopped into about eight pieces
two cloves garlic, peeled
pinch of sage
pinch of thyme
salt and pepper

Chuck the garlic and onion into a food processor and give them a quick whizz, then add the remaining ingredients and process until well combined. Form into about six burgers, or eight smaller ones. I laid mine on my meat chopping board then refrigerated whilst chopping the salad. Heat a griddle pan on medium with a little oil and cook your burgers for around 15 minutes, flipping occasionally. Serve with salad and homemade chips (we didn’t have chips as thought it might be bit heavy for lunch) and if you wish a bun and ketchup! 

  

‘No no’ chocolate flapjacks!

  This was a bit of an experiment but I’m really chuffed with how they came out!! I’d been using this recipe for flapjacks (swapping nuts for dates), so thought I’d have a go at modifying it to get a chocolatey treat!

Ingredients:

250g oats
3 big bananas
3 heaped tbsp unsweetened cocoa
80ml oil (I use rice bran, could use olive)
80ml agave or maple syrup (or honey)
50g dates
pinch of salt

Method: Preheat oven to 180C. In a food processor, pulse all the ingredients except for the oats. (I blend until it looks like mashed banana, so still a bit lumpy with chunks of dates, as opposed to blending until smooth) Or mash bananas and add dates chopped. In a large bowl combine the oats with the chocolate mixture. Line a tin with greaseproof paper, push mixture into tin and up to edges and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, lift out onto wire rack and cut into squares, drizzle with honey if you like, leave to cool. Enjoy!

Nut Butter Blondies

 

I’m liking this recipe! I had to make a few adjustments and I’d like to try adding other ingredients – it’s definitely a keeper! 

Original recipe:  http://ifoodreal.com/flourless-peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-blondies/

I switched peanut butter for almond butter, omitted the coconut sugar, honey instead of maple syrup, used dates instead of chocolate and whizzed them with the main ingredients.

Next time I think I’ll try adding vanilla or maybe get some cocoa nibs or perhaps just some cocoa powder! 

Stuffed peppers & turmeric rice

  For tonights tea I did stuffed peppers, a first for us! First cut the peppers in half and took the inside bits out. Then microwave on medium for 5 minutes until soft. Pop them on a baking tray ready for the filling. To make the filling put about 500g of turkey breast in the food processor and blitzed ( you could buy ready minced!) In a wok I fried a chopped onion then added the turkey mince, some herbs de provence  and a crushed clove of garlic. Fry until turkey is all browned then add a can of chopped tomatoes, half fill can with water and add that as well as a good squeeze of tomato puree. Simmer for about half an hour. Add seasoning to your taste. Meanwhile cook the rice. Cook according to the instruction on the pack, add a good shake of turmeric to the water. About halfway through cooking, add some frozen peas and sweetcorn.

While rice is resting, fill the peppers and bake in preheated oven 180C for ten minutes. Enjoy!