Healthy Breakfast #2 Greek Yoghurt and Strawberries

Even though I haven’t posted for a while, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t still been trying to eat well and exercising (well, no running in this heat!). Just the other week, we decided to enjoy our weekly Friday evening takeaway – yes I still have those – and decided on Indian. I came home from work, went out for a run and then came home to order the food. However, instead of ordering rice, I made cauliflower rice to enjoy with my curry. I just chopped it very fine with my Pampered Chef food chopper, but a food processor or some fine knife skills should do the job, and blanched it in some boiling water with half a lemon in it. It isn’t completely carb free but felt much healthier than the usual rice accompaniment and another veg on the plate for good measure.

I’ve also found a love for greek yogurt – full-fat, no added sugar and full of protein. It actually tells me this when I load it into Myfitnesspal and I feel quite smug that I’m working towards including more protein in my diet. I also feel smug when it tells me “This food is high in Vitamin A” or “You’ve reached your fibre goal for today”. It’s like a PT in your pocket. Anyway, I first started with the Muller Fruit Corner version of greek yoghurt with a fruit side or honey side and not surprisingly they are full of sugar. I’ve gradually managed to wean myself off them and now enjoy plain greek yoghurt but with some dried seeds and fruit mixed in or with strawberries dipped in.

I love strawberries and believe they are a good source of vitamins C and K. They also contain lots of fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium. Which is good, because I believe that coconut water is a great source of potassium and I can’t stand the stuff (even if it’s flavoured!). They can even contribute to your pearly whites!  We have grown these mighty berries in our garden every year and I love doing a little bit of PYO in the morning for breakfast. We are also lucky to have a wild strawberry plant and these are like mini-strawberries with a highly condensed sweet flavour.

This morning, after another sweltering night, I stumbled into the garden armed with a sieve and picked a few berries for breakfast. They were a scrumptious accompaniment to greek yoghurt, coconut flakes, muesli, chia seeds and mixed seeds.

I feel quite virtuous now, until I break in the heat later and have an ice-cream. But maybe I’ll stick to my healthy ways and blend some frozen bananas instead.

Enjoy!

Delicious homegrown strawberries with greek yoghurt...
Delicious homegrown strawberries with greek yoghurt…

 

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Healthy Snack Ideas #1

I believe the jury is still out on whether snacking between meals is actually beneficial for weight loss but there are times when you just need to stave off the hunger demons in-between meals. There’s nothing worse than feeling a little peckish and being faced with sugar-laden flapjacks masquerading as the ‘healthy option’, or the office biscuit tin, brimming with fatty, buttery biscuits or worse: the chocolate bar. Oh the guilt when you give in and satiate your starvation with unhealthy, nutritionally-decrepit foods! You might as well just have takeaway tonight and a fry-up tomorrow for breakfast: those are the thoughts that soon swim into your head as soon as you have banquished hunger pangs with bad foods.

I have found an answer. Not the answer but an answer. The holy grail of healthy but satisfying snacks destined to fuel the engine for a few more hours until your next meal. The banana muffin. This is not a banana muffin as we know it with butter and refined sugar and white flour. This is that banana muffin’s slightly healthier cousin.

These have gone down to roaring applause at school – ok not quite but they were well-received- and were even enjoyed by my cake-loving partner. Of course, it’s not like a delicate slice of Victoria sponge with afternoon tea (fresh leaves not bagged), but this is a snack you could enjoy everyday without being consumed with food guilt.

Here goes:

3 large ripe bananas (lovely burst of natural sugar and easy to digest)

1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup or agave syrup

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 and 3/4 cup of wholemeal flour

1/2 cup light olive oil

1 tbsp milk

1 large egg beaten

Mash the bananas until smooth and relatively lump-free. Mix in the beaten egg. In a separate bowl, lightly mix the flour and bicarb and baking powder and add the banana-egg mixture. To this, add the olive oil, milk and honey and mix all ingredients together. Do be careful not to over mix.

Bake in the oven Gas Mark 5 or 175C for approximately 25 minutes – to be honest, I always just check with a toothpick – if it comes out clean when inserted in to the centre of a muffin, then you’re good to go.

This is a very forgiving recipe. I have mixed in dark chocolate chips when needing to knock chocolate cravings on the head and also added a tbsp of chia and/or mixed seeds to the recipe for extra nutritional benefits. You could always experiment with blueberries, raspberries or other fruit, dried or fresh. Please feel free to leave comments about your cooking endeavours on my blog.

The top of the muffin on my image looks a little darker than it did in real-life but hey-ho, I love a good crunchy muffin top.

Hot cup of tea and warm banana muffin...the perfect afternoon snack
Hot cup of tea and warm banana muffin…the perfect afternoon snack