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Banana Berry Smoothie

Forgive my ignorance here, but what’s the deal with all these absurdly calorific recipe videos flying around at the moment? They appear to have taken over my newsfeed and it sparks a reaction in me I can’t quite comprehend. I’m not sure if it’s anger or disbelief. With conditions such a diabetes and obesity at an all time high I’m not convinced this is in anyone’s interest. Above all, most of them actually look disgusting. Who wants to eat Pizzagne? That I assume needs no further explanation.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a bit of indulgence here and there, everything in moderation, but come on guys… let’s actually apply some common sense. Surely fueling your body with all that sugar and saturated fat isn’t a good thing. It’s gluttony in its purest form, is it not?

I’ve seen all sorts of ridiculously bazaar recipes floating about on social media being shared to high heaven. Has anyone ever attempted to make any of these gruesome looking dishes I wonder? Okay, I’ve seen some video recipes that look nice and dare I say healthy, but they are few and far between. I’ve seen meatballs stuffed with whole blocks of cheese, covered in sauce with added sugar and topped with more cheese. Fajita pasta, cooked in five cups of milk no less, and, you guessed it, smothered with cheese. To top things off, today I witnessed Pizzagne – made using three whole pizzas, and yes more cheese!

Peanut butter “protein” balls – pah, this one makes me laugh… butter, peanut butter, rice crispies and three cups of icing sugar. Oh and then, just because that’s not quite enough sugar and fat, they were then dipped in chocolate. Is it any wonder people have a problem keeping their weight down these days? What on earth happened to clean eating and treating your body to the raw, natural foods that it so desperately needs?

I’m cross with the idiocy of the creators of these gluttonous recipes… yes there is a time and a place for it, but i fear social media isn’t the place. Let’s get sharing some healthy recipes people!

I’ve been eating clean for the past couple of weeks and I’m feeling great for it. When I say clean, I mean cutting out all processed foods, fats and sugars. I’ve allowed myself some essential fats such as nuts and omega 3 rich salmon, but refined sugar is off the menu. For now at least.

I’ve been making smoothies for breakfast every morning. Now I appreciate that fruit has sugar in it, but it’s no comparison to refined sugars given that it’s packed with vitamins, antioxidants and is generally very high in fiber. I’m even sneaking in chia seeds and spinach for antioxidants, protein and more fiber. Don’t be put off by the spinach or the alarming look of a green smoothie, they can be surprising delicious. One of my Facebook friends commented “spinach and bananas, yuck!” – there was a time when I would have agreed that this sounds odd, but don’t knock it until you’ve tried it Helen. ? I’ve found these smoothies very filling, so I’m less inclined to  snack before lunchtime.

I’ve lost 10lbs in 2 weeks and I’m feeling great. There seems to be a whole lot of truth in the fact that if you cut sugar from your diet the less you crave it. I’m actually realising that if I plan correctly, eat less carbs and sugar and have smoothies for breakfast I don’t need that packet of crisps or digestive biscuit at 11am. I can sail straight through to lunchtime without giving sugary snacks a thought. Honest!

I’ve also been drinking lots of water, which has inevitably meant more trips to the loo. But, that’s a small price to pay for the obvious benefits it has. My skin is looking great!

So next time you’re tempted to share that creamy, cheesy, indulgent recipe video. Stop. Hit up your Pinterest app and type in ‘clean eats’, ‘healthy snacks’ or ‘energy rich foods’ – you might surprise yourself at how “Tasty” some of these recipes look.

Here’s one of the delicious smoothies I’ve been having – banana, berries and spinach… yummy!

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Blueberry & Almond Pancakes

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Ordinarily, I’m a fan of pancakes with sugar and lemon. It’s reminiscent of my childhood, when mum and dad would goof around in the kitchen and more of the pancakes would end up on the wall, the ceiling and the floor than on the plate. But we’ve all made bog standard pancakes right?

If you are one of those people who buy the ‘pancake mix’ already made, this is the part where you should hang your head in shame, for you are essentially buying overpriced flour. Pancakes are not difficult to make – flour, eggs, milk and vegetable oil. It doesn’t get much simpler than that, does it?

We decided to make our pancakes over the weekend, for one of two reasons really. We had Richard’s children and we knew they would want a piece of the action, and secondly because I barely have time to feed myself in the week now, let alone lark about making pancakes and photographing them for my blog. Oh and of course, so that I can strategically post this on my blog the day before Pancake Day.

We managed to find a spare hour on Sunday, so we set about making them; of course everyone wanted something different. I had to be the odd one out and decide I didn’t want plain pancakes. I wanted to make something a little more interesting – I decided on American style blueberry and almond pancakes. They are that bit more substantial, not great for the diet mind. This recipe makes around 10 pancakes.

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Blueberry & Almond Pancakes
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 50g plain flour
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 150ml milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 150g fresh blueberries
  • 1tbsp powdered sweetener
  • Maple syrup (optional)
Instructions
  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks, placing each in their own large mixing bowl. Add the almonds, flour, baking powder and milk to the yolk. Mix well to form a thick batter.
  2. Add the salt to the egg whites and whisk until you have stiff peaks. Fold this into the batter.
  3. Heat a pan on a medium heat. Using a ladle pour your batter into the pan, topping the pancake with 5-6 blueberries. Once the pancake starts to look golden around the edges, flip the pancake using a spatula. These pancakes only take about 1 minute on each side in a hot pan.
  4. In a separate saucepan, place 100g blueberries over a high heat, sprinkle with 1 tbsp powered sweetener and allow to cook until the berries have burst and are a deep purple liquid.
  5. Serve the pancakes stacked and drizzled with blueberry sauce. You can also add a splash of maple syrup if it takes your fancy.

 

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Miss Friday is back with a delicious peace offering of Blueberry Muffins

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Roll up and accept my peace offering of delicious blueberry muffins! Evidently, it’s been too long – being pregnant has turned me into a strange being. I’ve struggled with eating to be honest, and this heat hasn’t helped things much. I spent the first three months being very sick  and now I’m finding it hard to regain my old appetite. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always had more than a healthy appetite, so I guess cutting back a bit won’t hurt. I’ve certainly lost a few pounds (without the baby weight that is of course).

That said, I can’t complain really, everything seems to be going rather well at the minute and I’m slowly starting to feel like the old Miss Friday again! I only have ten weeks left until I can meet my baby and I’m rather excited about that. Between work and baby preparations, I’ve been getting back into the swing of things in the kitchen, much to Richard’s relief. I think he was becoming worried I’d lost my touch and he’d be cooking his own meals forever more. He has lost over half a stone in weight – claims it’s because I’ve not been cooking for him as much. No one likes a skinny man, so it’s about time I got back to my usual schedule and made him happy again.

I’m hoping that my absence hasn’t done too much to damage to my blogging stats. The trouble is, trying to keep up with a regular blogging schedule and working, and being pregnant is easier said than done. Although, I’ll be on maternity leave from mid August, so I hope to be able to re-establish a regular pattern of posts for you lovely people.

Seeing as I’ve been away for too long, I thought it was only fair to come with my tail between my legs and offer this Blueberry Muffin recipe as a peace offering – when you taste them I’m certain you’ll forgive me. They went down a treat with the family. Having posted a snap to my Facebook page I was then bombarded with requests “Can you make me some?” or “Oh, these look nice, can we sample them?”. It’s fair to say this recipe was a hit.

As unlikely as it is, if you’re not a blueberry muffin fan, the basic mixture can be used for many other muffin recipes, omit the blueberries and chuck in whatever takes your fancy. Why not try pecan and chocolate chip, or raspberry and white chocolate? You really could try any combination based on your preferred taste.

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Blueberry Muffins
 
Author: 
Recipe type: Baking
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Delicious blueberry muffins, perfect for breakfast or with afternoon tea. The blueberries will burst and ooze out delicious juices making these muffins look utterly irresistible!
Ingredients
  • 250g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 145g caster sugar
  • 170ml semi skimmed milk
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
  • 120g fresh blueberries
Instructions
  1. Line a muffin tin with 12 paper cases and preheat your oven to 180⁰C (160⁰C if using a fan oven).
  2. Add all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl (except the blueberries). Mix until well combined. Gently stir in the blueberries.
  3. Divide mixture into the 12 muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes until risen and slightly golden. The blueberries will have burst and oozed out their delicious juices making these muffins look utterly irresistible!

 

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Egg in the Hole

You’ve heard of Toad in the Hole right? Well this is ‘Egg in the Hole’ same concept different ingredients! You know how sometimes you never hear about something and then one person mentions it and all of a sudden it’s everywhere? Well this happened to me with ‘Egg in the Hole’ recently. I’d been listening to Radio 2 and heard that they were having a lengthy debate about why it was called Egg in the Hole and how nice it was – then whilst browsing my Facebook news feed the other day my friend Ciaran had posted a video featuring something very similar. All this reminded me how much I love Egg in the Hole – perhaps it’s the novelty of it, or the fact that it rings out nostalgia and reminds me of my childhood.

If you’ve never had Egg in the Hole you’ve not lived. What could be better than bread fried in butter with an egg in the middle? Seriously, it’s SO good! The best bit for me is the little hole you cut out, because this is the really soft piece of the bread it soaks up all the fat in the pan and it tastes delicious! Not all together very healthy I admit, but it’s so tasty it makes a great little treat every now and again, and considering the last time I had it was probably 1996 or something like that I guess that’s okay!

Where it comes from is a mystery, but the American’s seem to be all over it. I’m going to make this with the kids at the weekend – they’ll love it!

Simply plonk a knob of butter into the pan and whack in your bread (with a cookie-cuttered hole in the middle), don’t forget to add the ‘hole’ that’s the best bit, fry it both sides for a minute or two then add your egg. For me it’s best served with a couple of sausages.

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