Recipes

Cinnamon Oat Baked Apples

This is a really easy option for a warming winter dessert. Delicious as it is or even better with a scoop of Greek yoghurt or ice cream! I make a batch and then I can reheat them for pudding or even have one for a snack or brekkie! Bramley apples work best but you can actually use any apple you like.

This recipe makes 4 portions (half an apple) at approx 77 cals per portion (this will vary with apple size).

You will need:

2 Apples

50g Oats

10g sugar (I use half spoon – as it gives sweetness with fewer calories)

20g light spread (I just used a normal anchor light spread)

1/2 tsp cinnamon (or more to taste)

Preheat the oven to 180 C

Mix the oats, cinnamon and sugar in a small bowl.

Add the spread and use a fork or your hands to mix it into the oat mix. Leaving clumps.

Cut the apples on half and use a spoon to remove the core and create a little hollow.

Pop the apples on a baking dish and pack the oat mix into the hollow and across the top of each apple half.

Add a tbsp of water to the dish, cover lightly with foil and bake for 25 mins. Then remove the foil and bake for a further 10 mins.

Serve as is or with ice cream/ yoghurt

Enjoy! 🙂 Xx

Recipes

Biscoff Berry Porridge

As it gets colder I am drawn to warm, comforting food and porridge ticks the bill for me!

This combo of biscoff and berries works really well! It comes in at around 350 cals (using water not milk) for a portion so a good hearty brekkie or even a lunch option.

You will need:

50g porridge oats

1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

Water (or milk if you prefer to use that for porridge)

Handful of berries (I used blackberries, raspberries and blueberries)

20g Biscoff spread

20g Berry jam (optional – I used the low calorie skinny jam – available here)

Mix the cinnamon with the oats and then prepare your porridge using water (or milk) as you normally would. I often use boiling water from the kettle for speed but you can use a saucepan of course.

Once at a consistency you like transfer to a bowl and add the blackberries (or whatever berries you have), mix them up a little to release the juices.

Then add the other berries and biscoff spread. If using the jam add that too.

Pop in the microwave for 1 min (optional – this just helps to melt the biscoff and release the fruit juices – you could also do all this in a pan on the hob)

Enjoy! 🙂

Xx

Recipes

Shakshuka – Tomato based stew with poached eggs

This is a quick and easy light brunch or lunch. You can have it as it is, or serve with toasted pitta, crusty bread, new potatoes or just some green veg.

This serves 2 and it’s around 230 cals per portion. You can prepare the tomato base in advance and either store in the fridge or freezer and then just add the spinach and eggs when you want to eat it. And for those who can’t eat peppers – just leave them out and double the cherry tomatoes.

I was kindly given some home grown chilli peppers so I used a fresh one but you can use chilli powder if not.

You will need:

4 eggs

100-200g Spinach

1 large onion

1 garlic clove

2 peppers (red, yellow, orange – your choice)

400g Chopped tomatoes

200g Cherry tomatoes (or 400g if not using peppers)

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp chilli powder or 1 fresh chilli (to taste)

1/2 tsp paprika

Pinch of sugar

Juice of half a small lemon

Salt and Pepper to taste

 

Slice the onion, peppers and tomatoes. Add a little oil spray to a large frying pan and throw in the onion, garlic and peppers (including the chilli pepper if using fresh chilli).

Sauté over a medium heat until they start to soften and cook through for 8 – 10 minutes.

Add the spices and cherry tomatoes and cook through for 2 mins or so.

Then add the chopped tomato, pinch of sugar and lemon juice. Mix well. Cook gently for 5 – 10 mins until it starts to thicken.

At this point you can stop and pop in the fridge or freezer for another day (or as I did, take half the portion away as it was just me having it for dinner). When ready to eat continue.

Add the spinach and cook through on low heat for 5 mins or so. Season to taste.

Using a large spoon create 4 wells in the mixture (or 2 if using a half portion) and crack an egg into each. Season the eggs and then pop a lid over the pan and simmer over a low heat for 6 – 8 mins (or until the eggs are as you like them).

Remove and serve with toasted pitta, a crusty loaf or veg of your choice!

Enjoy!

🙂 xx

Recipes

Easy, ‘Healthy’, Autumn Crumble

With Autumn upon us it’s definitely time for some comforting, warming puds, and for me that means stewed fruit and crumble! Traditional Crumble can be quite high calorie so this is a great option for keeping the calories a bit lower but still just as tasty!

I was lucky enough to be given a haul of apples and pears, and I had some wild blackberries in the freezer form earlier in the summer but you can use any combination of fruit you fancy!

This comes in at about 184 calories per portion (I got 6 portions from mine) but tastes just as great! I didn’t add any sugar to my fruit at all – it was perfectly sweet as it was and with the sweetness of the topping you shouldn’t need to add any, but you can add if you feel you need it.

This makes a fab dessert, snack or even breakfast!

You will need:

3 large cooking apples/ pears (bramley apples work best)

A large punnet of blackberries (approx 200 – 300g) (or use more apples/pears/plums/raspberries/gooseberries/ anything!)

1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the topping:

100g oats

50g flour (I used rice flour as it has a finer texture but any flour will do)

30g sugar (I used ‘half spoon’)

1 tsp cinnamon

40g non-dairy spread (I used a ‘light’ spread)

Prepare the fruit – peel, core and chop the apples/pears into small chunks and rinse the blackberries. Place the apples in a saucepan with a tbsp of water and start to cook – they need a bit longer than the blackberries so this gives them a head start. Once they’ve started to soften a little add the blackberries and the cinnamon and stir well. Allow to simmer gently until the apples are cooked through.

Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.

Place the oats, flour, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and mix well. Add the spread and then use a fork or your fingers to rub it in to the mixture creating little lumps.

Pour the fruit mixture into whatever dish you’re using – I made 4 individual portions and one double portion.

Add the topping and then pop in the oven for 15-20 mins or until the topping starts to brown.

Remove and serve warm (or cold!), with a dollop of zero fat total yoghurt, or maybe some low cal ice cream!

Enjoy! Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? …

Sugar is bad!!… or is it? … 🥣

I often hear and see people claiming that sugar is bad! Clients will tell me that they are “cutting back on sugar” for example. When asked what foods they mean specifically it usually includes things like biscuits, chocolate, cakes, ice cream etc. But these foods aren’t just “sugar” – they all contain significant amounts of fat too.

As you can see from this comparison – 100g of sugar contains nothing but sugar. It’s 99.9 g of carbs – no fat, no protein etc. All of those carbs are sugar. The biscuits on the other hand contain around 62g carbs, of which only 28g is actually sugar. It contains almost as much fat, other carbs and some protein etc. These foods that people commonly associate with sugar are a mixture of sugar, fat and salt which make them hyper-palatable. That means they’re designed to taste really good – which encourages you to eat more. Eating 100g of pure sugar in one sitting is actually not a pleasant experience (try it – I dare you lol!) and it isn’t something most people would do. Eating 100g of biscuits though – well thats super easy and is only 4-5 biscuits in most cases. To consume the same amount of actual sugar as pure sugar you’d need to eat 350g of biscuits in one sitting (which is over 20 biscuits!).

So this combo of sugar, fat and salt is what makes biscuits and other snacks so easy to over eat. That’s not to say biscuits are bad but they have the potential to derail you from your goals because they’re calorie dense (i.e. more cals in a smaller package) and as I said they taste great so you’re likely to eat more. So it’s not the sugar thats causing this – its the combination of ingredients in these products. So vilifying sugar is pointless and a misunderstanding of where the real issue lies. In fact sugar is actually an important nutrient and the brain’s main fuel source.

In sum, sugar isn’t “bad”, it isn’t causing you to gain fat in itself. If your diet contains a range of whole foods and is balanced overall then having the odd “sugary” snack like biscuits/cakes etc is fine – just account for it in your calories.

🤗

Xx