Thursday, 26 August 2010

Holidays are comin'...

I fly to Spain tomorrow!

Can't wait because it's been wet, cold and miserable in England all August :(

But near Malaga, where my friend's parents' house is, it's 30+ degrees! Eek, my milk-bottle skin is going to need all the factor 35 I've packed...

So just a quick post because I won't be near a computer (hooray) till I get back on Wednesday. An ideal opportunity to promote Healthy Living Blogs.

It's a genius idea from Lindsey of Sound Eats; to get like-minded bloggers in one place, to find others near you and share ideas... In Lindsey's words:

Healthy Living Blogs is a new resource for the health blogging community. Created by Lindsey of Sound Eats, HLB is a site designed to enhance the positive community of the healthy living blog world. Bloggers and readers can explore the site and find more blogs to love, bloggers in their area, and forums to deepen healthy discussion and support. If you're interested in having your site listed on HLB, simply send the following information to and check the site out for yourself!

Email subject line: MEMBERS

Your name (please share if you prefer to go by first name, first and last, or however you prefer to be known on the Internet)

Blog Name

Blog URL (please start with http://, not www.)

Your twitter handle, if applicable

Your location (if you prefer not to disclose this information for privacy's sake, that is completely understandable. We'll simply include your blog listing in the A-Z listing, not by location, too)

Any specific labels (i.e. vegan, gluten-free, weight loss, running, etc.)
Take care

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Variation on a theme(s)

I'm writing this from work, which is a first! Probably technically not allowed but I'm editing this week and I've sent all four editions of the paper and have nothing to do until the sub-editors start putting the stories on the pages... which means a looong evening tonight and a very early morning tomorrow, as print deadline is 9.45am : (

But at least waiting gives me the chance to share a variation on one of my favourite themes; breakfast! When I remember that I used to eat the same cereal every single day...

Saturday's breakfast cookie was delicious; the baking is definitely the way forward in my opinion, so I started thinking of ways to make it even better...

Random memories of my banana omelette/pancake were floating through my brain, accompanied by my love for Chocolate Covered Katie's melted banana trick, my current porridge obsession favourite. I really mash the banana before I microwave it and it's heaven.

So I put the two together and....

Melting the banana separately and adding it, mixed with the almond butter, afterwards improves the flavour so much! It would probably work in the oven just as well, the same as the baked version, but I tried it on the stove and the texture was good so this one is the way forward for me! It also means you don't have to add the baking powder, etc and simple recipes are always good.


40g oats
1 egg white
About 50ml water/milk

Let stand for a few minutes (this was unintentional as the phone rang! But with hindsight, I'll do it again as the time probably helped the oats absorb the liquid.)

Heat a pan coated with oil or cooking spray on a low/medium heat until warm, then pour in the mixture. Flatten as best as you can because this helps the top cook more easily when you flip it.

The cookie should set relatively quickly, allowing you to lift and check how brown it is (mine took a few minutes) then flip and repeat.

An in-progress picture, included only to show off my hot-pan-holder which I love! :)

I then melted my mashed banana in the microwave, mixed it with a couple of spoonsful of almond butter and spread it on the top... wow. I promise anyone who makes this will not be disappointed and the potential for variations is huge; mix dried fruit, nuts, carrot (For a carrot cake breakfast cookie?! Hmmm...) or whatever takes your fancy.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow morning already; at least breakfast will be good even if work isn't!  

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Top banana

A morning post!

It's a quick one because I'm going to ride Dave in a minute but just had to share this amazing breakfast first...

I'd noticed that a lot of people are making breakfast cookies and thought I definitely needed to join in but didn't want to just put it in the fridge overnight; I thought a cookie needs to be chewy, crispy - and baked.

So, I had a go, mixing:

50g oats
1/2 a banana
1 egg white
Pinch baking powder
Tiny pinch salt
Squirt of vanilla

Preheat the oven to about 175C.
Mash the banana as well as possible - mine was almost liquid - then combine with all other ingredients, mixing well.
Flatten to about 1/4in circle on a lined baking tray and bake for about 12-15 minutes, It was probably done then but I wanted it crispier and more browned so I set the oven to grill, turned the temperature down to about 160C and left it about 5 more minutes.

I left it to cool overnight then, this morning, spread it with 1tbsp almond butter, mixed with almost 1 tbsp milk and a drizzle of maple syrup... perfection!

I couldn't resist taking a cheeky bite out of one side before the camera came out : )

Happy Saturday!

Friday, 20 August 2010

An ode to Eat Natural

I'm going to Spain on Friday!

My friend's parents have got a house near Puerto Banus so I'm spending five days by their pool, chilling out in a big way! I haven't had a summer holiday for years and the thing I'm looking forward to almost more than anything is being warm... it's been a miserable August in England so far and, as much as I love Dave, it'll be a nice change not to have to go up to the yard twice every day...

The only problem I can see is that it's sometimes hard enough to make English-speaking restaurant staff understand what I can't eat and why so I'm thinking Spanish waiters might pose more of a problem.

With that in mind, I've overdosed on buying Eat Natural and other bars to take with me.

I've been eating the yoghurt-coated apricot and almond version every now and then since I was diagnosed coeliac and they're heaven but, for some reason, hadn't bought them for ages.
I had a look on the website and realised there are loads more flavours I hadn't tried - so I bought almost all of them! Sadly, this means I'm going to have to carry out some serious research into which I like most, just so I know which to take...

Should I try the chocolate/peanut/cranberry/pistachio?

Or the yoghurt-coated cherry/almond? Decisions, decisions!

In the end, I opted for the dark chocolate/Brazil nut/apricot/cranberry.

All I can say is - good choice! The 70% dark chocolate complements the chewy apricot and tangy cranberry perfectly and you can never go wrong with Brazil nuts in my opinion. A party in my mouth, as they say. The combination of chewiness and crunchiness is perfect and, with all that lovely protein, fibre and healthy fat, these are definitely the way to go.

Next on the list to try is the yoghurt/cranberry/apricot. Mmmm...

But there has to be a cute picture to finish; check out the baby almond/apricot/yoghurt ones - how could you resist : )

Sunday, 15 August 2010


A busy Sunday!

Having not got to bed till about 2am after my brother's leaving do (he's going to teach English in Korea for a year - wow! But I'll miss him :( ) I was awake by 9.30am and didn't stop from then on... After a HUGE bowl of porridge (that's one love that's definitely going to last!) I cycled up to the yard, rode Dave, saw my mum, came home, ate lunch, cleared out my cupboards, made cookies, drove my friend back to the yard to see her horse, gave Dave his dinner... hold on - cookies should never be mentioned in such a throwaway, cavalier fashion!

So here they are...

I'd been wanting, or thinking vaguely about, making nut butter cookies for ages but hadn't got round to it because it seemed almost a waste of the deliciousness that is almond butter! But when I ordered my last lot, (you can't really buy it in shops here) I thought I'd try some other flavours.

The cashew was nice, but not as nice as almond, and I wasn't convinced at all by the brazil nut butter, which is weird as I LOVE brazil nuts! I'd seen a recipe for nut butter cookies using oats (can't remember where - sorry) and made cookies using maple syrup instead of sugar so..... here's the result!

Preheat oven to 180c

100g nut butter (I used 20g cashew, 40 brazil and 40 almond)
4 tbsp maple syrup (love this!)
4 tbsp oats
1 egg white

Mix together, dollop on a baking sheet, cook for 15-ish minutes... and tuck in! I love the flavour maple syrup gives and the oats make them nice and chewy (might add a few more oats next time). 

Ps - as far as porridge goes, every day this week, I've been eating it using Katie's melted banana trick. I've got to say, this wins my "official best porridge ever award" and makes the house smell delicious too - amazing! Thanks Katie...

Saturday, 7 August 2010

A confession...

I've been really stupid.

Ever since the joyous day I found out I could eat oats again, I've been making up for lost time. As I said earlier, I've just been enjoying them every day, soaked in water overnight in the fridge, as well as in cookies, pancakes, cakes...

But I couldn't understand why all the creative and delicious-looking oatmeal recipes on people's blogs talked about using so much water; I thought I must be a bit weird liking mine thick... and just kept on doing the same thing.

Then I ordered my next lot of oats (and other gluten-free goodies) from Goodness Direct and realised the site offers free postage on orders over a certain value so I added some oat bran. When it arrived, I decided to mix it with the oats but wasn't sure it would "work" just soaked overnight - so I cooked them together, on the stove.

For once, I followed instructions (almost) by using (nearly) the amount of water recommended, not believing for a minute it would work. I stirred sceptically, then suddenly realised, it was thickening up! In disbelief, I stirred - and stirred  - and stirred. And it kept getting thicker! With hindsight, I may have stirred for a bit too long as when it cooled, I could pick the porridge up in one gelatinous mass!

It was a revelation.

And, a bit more water and some serious fork action and the consistency problem was solved. It was thick, it was creamy, it was... HEAVEN. AND it filled me up till lunchtime!

Serious oatmeal addicts will think the above bowl - made the next day by adding cooked and blended butternut squah and a tbsp almond butter - is very, very boring which it probably is but to me... porridge heaven!

What to put in tomorrow's bowl though? THAT is the question...

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Diary of an addict...

My name's Eleanor and *deep breath* I'm an addict.

I'm addicted to (butternut) squash. Round of applause? No? Fair enough...

I love it. I can't remember the last day I didn't eat either roasted garlic butternut chips...

Or "sweet chips" (roasted with cinnamon and maple syrup - no picture as they didn't hang around long enough for some reason!)

Or Heather's amazing baked custard (slightly adapted butternut version, disguised as a breakfast sundae)

And this. A butternut mousse.

This picture definitely doesn't do it justice, bearing in mind what it looks like! But it was amazing... I blended 100g butternut with a splash of milk, 2 tsp almond butter and a drizzle of maple syrup: wow.

I may need to make a few more of these to use up the butternut, because then I can move on to my latest purchase - a spaghetti squash!
Any ideas?

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Millions of little Britons grew up great...

... on Heinz baked beans!

It doesn't happen often but, on the way home from work the other day, I was struck by a sudden NEED to make something centred around baked beans for dinner.

Luckily, there was a tin of Mr Heinz's finest in the cupboard but what to put with it? "Eggs" came the answer, from somewhere, so eggs it was!

I made one of my omelette/wraps that usually do sterling work at lunchtime but made it very slightly differently. Instead of beating flaxseed into the egg whites, I mixed it with one white and started that cooking in the omelette pan. Once that had set slightly, I added the other on top and swirled that around.

The result was an even thicker and fluffier creation which folded perfectly round the baked beans. Along with a HUGE amount of vegetables and some butternut squash chips (roasted with garlic; amazing) this was the tastiest and most filling dinner I could have wanted...