Hawaiian honeymoon smoothies!

Having returned earlier this summer from an amazing honeymoon in Hawaii, we got used to having wonderful, exotic, tropical fruits every day, particularly in a smoothie at breakfast time. As I’m keen to eat seasonally – it’s cheaper and better for the environment – I was wondering how to keep up our weekend smoothie intake, particularly as we move into winter. So, I have two options for you, one is to buy frozen tropical fruit in your weekly shop. You can whizz this in your food processor straight from frozen, or let it de-frost a little overnight. Add in some water, your favourite fruit juice, a couple of spoonfuls of yoghurt and a little milk if you want to add a bit more protein. Some people also add a teaspoon of honey or cinnamon – particularly nice with bananas and yoghurt! My favourite is (frozen) mango, strawberry and papaya; throw in a few mint leaves from the garden and a little bit of yoghurt – delicious and healthy! Whizz for 30 seconds or a minute in the food processor and you’re ready for a fruit fantasy!

Another option is to use up whatever fruit is leftover in your fruit bowl and needs eating. Did you know that the average household wastes over £50 a month by throwing away good food that could have been eaten? In the UK we throw away 7.2 million tonnes of food every year – that’s worth £12 billion pounds – and most of it could have been eaten. A fabulous website is Love Food Hate Waste which gives loads of tips about making your food last longer and reducing how much food you throw away – saving you money and helping the environment!

Obviously you don’t want to be drinking smoothies ALL the time, as fruit does contain a lot of sugar, and you might prefer to use low fat milk/yoghurt too. Ours are a weekend treat and certainly don’t replace adding fruit to our cereal or as a snack during the day. There’ll be another post coming soon about how to ensure you’re getting your five + a day of fruit and veg…

Energy muffins for the Oxford half marathon!

My husband is running the Oxford half marathon this Sunday so between clients and lectures I’ve been perfecting my recipe for banana and nut energy muffins!

This is loosely based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, but I’ve added lots of extra slow release energy in the form of bananas, nuts, oats, oatmeal and using wholemeal flour to keep you going for longer. I first tried these out on some friends about a month ago when we did the Vitruvian triathlon in Lincolnshire, and since we all managed to finish one way or another, I reckon they must have enough energy for the half marathon!

They really are super easy to make and take about 15 minutes to prepare and 30 minutes to cook. You also don’t need any fancy baking equipment – just a couple of bowls, pestle and mortar and muffin cases. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar, you can crush the nuts between two spoons.

Makes about 6 – 10 muffins (depending on the size of your muffin cases!):

  • 2 bananas mushed up
  • Small handful of pumpkin seeds
  • 4 brazil nuts
  • Small handful of almonds
  • Small handful of macadamia nuts
  • 100g porridge oats
  • 100g oatmeal
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • Drizzle of honey if you wish
  • 100g sugar (I use brown sugar but caster works too)
  • 75g melted butter
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 125g plain yoghurt (I use low fat but choose your favourite)
  • 125ml milk (I use skimmed but choose your favourite)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • Sprinkle of cinammon if you wish

Bash up the nuts with a pestle and mortar and mush up the bananas with a spoon.

In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, oats, oatmeal, salt, sugar and baking powder lightly together.

In another bowl mix the eggs, yoghurt, milk and melted butter together gently and then add to the dry ingredients, along with the mushed banana, pumpkin seeds and bashed nuts. If you want to add in a spoonful or two of honey, add that now (I tend not to as the sweetness of the bananas and sugar is enough but adjust to your taste).

Mix everything together gently so it is just about combined, being careful not to overmix. Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees for about half an hour until they’re golden brown on top.

Eat warm on their own or dipped into some natural yoghurt or smoothie. Now, this energy booster breakfast should have you finishing the half marathon in record time too! Let me know what you think – email me or get in touch on Facebook.