The Food Blog, Something Sweet

Poached Peaches Persian Style

poached peaches

poached peaches

Poached Peaches Persian Style

I’m back! Sorry it’s been a while since my last recipe post. Life got in the way a little and I’ve been super busy on some new projects and in my day job. But alas, I’m back with a killer recipe to curb those nasty cravings and add infusions of herbs at the same time… WINNER!

These poached peaches are super handy for when your fruit is just starting to go off. You know when they got a little but too soft? Well as I hate wasting food, I thought I’d give this a go with my slightly old fruit and see what they tasted like. And it worked! No more wastage for those peaches!!!

How do you make these Persian inspired poached peaches?

All you need are a few simple ingredients to make these poached peaches.

Fill a pan with water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat right down so it’s just keeping warm. Add 3 crushed cardamom pods and a tsp of dried rose petals (you can find these in any supermarket in the herbs section). Add your peaches and leave in the water with the heat right down low for 15 minutes.

Serve with some greek yoghurt or single cream.

To keep up to date on new recipes, make sure you’re following on twitter!

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Anytime Pancakes
August 10, 2016
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May 12, 2016
Chocolate Protein Pancakes
October 19, 2015
Uncategorised

Ultimate Breakfast Pot

ultimate breakfast pot

ultimate breakfast pot

Ultimate Breakfast Pot

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: Nuts, chia seeds, blueberries, jimjams chocolate spread, greek yoghurt, peanut butter.

The ultimate breakfast pot works as both a breakfast and dessert. Low in sugar and high in protein and antioxidents, this is the perfect quick breakfast to eat at your desk on a busy day.

Using a handful of ingredients all of which should be knocking about in your cupboard, these little treats don’t taste like ‘healthy snacks’ but will leave you coming back for more!

Go on, give it a go!

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube! You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and ideas!

 

ultimate breakfast pot
Ultimate Breakfast Pot
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
ultimate breakfast pot
Ultimate Breakfast Pot
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. In a bowl or pot, layer up your ingredients to serve. Start with blueberry base, then nuts, greek yoghurt, peanut butter and chocolate spread, then chia seeds. Serve with some coconut milk or green tea. Perfect for breakfast or dessert!
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Anytime Pancakes
August 10, 2016
Baked Avocado and Egg
July 15, 2016
Gluten Free Muesli Recipe
May 8, 2016
Something Sweet, Something For Snacks

Familiar Hazelnut Truffles

hazelnut truffles

hazelnut truffles

Familiar Hazelnut Truffles

Prep time: 10 minutes

No cooking required

Ingredients; mixed nuts, jimjams hazelnut chocolate spread

Why are they called familiar hazelnut truffles? Quite simply because as soon as you taste these low sugar, high protein treats, they’ll instantly remind you of a very famous chocolate truffle (which happens to be one of my favourites!)

For this recipe I used mixed nuts containing; walnuts, peacans, almonds, brazil nuts, hazelnuts and cashews. This worked really well for the different textures and tastes, and means you pack in a lot of proteins into these little treats.

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube! You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and ideas!

hazelnut truffles
Familiar Hazelnut Truffles
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 truffles 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 truffles 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
hazelnut truffles
Familiar Hazelnut Truffles
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
10 truffles 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
10 truffles 10 minutes
Passive Time
30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: truffles
Instructions
  1. In a pestle and mortar, grind your mixed nuts until they are rough 'chippings.' You don't want them like flour but you do need the 'chunks' in there.
  2. Once you're happy with the consistency of your nuts, in a bowl, add 2 tbsp of jimjams hazelnut spread.
  3. Mix the two ingredients together and they will form a thick dough like texture.
  4. Using your hands or tea spoons, make the mixture into balls and place on a tray.
  5. Dust with desiccated coconut if required and place in fridge for 30 minutes until set.
  6. Serve on their own or with fresh berries.
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Related posts
Chocolate Protein Pancakes
October 19, 2015
Featured News

Recipe Book Giveaway

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IMG_7509 (2)

A few months ago I was invited to take part in a new recipe book produced by Brighthouse. The recipe book was produced both digitally and in print and you can get a sneak peek online by clicking here! 

I submitted my Oat Crusted Haddock recipe, which can be found by clicking here.

The books arrived a couple of weeks ago and were so beautifully made, with recipes from bloggers all over the country, that I really wanted to share them with you.

So I have 4 of these beautifully designed recipe books to giveaway. They contain recipes for mains and desserts, and cover everything from sirloin steak with lemongrass to peri peri prawns, raspberry eclairs to dairy and gluten free chocolate brownies.

They’re fantastic little books with recipes to make your mouth water!

So how do you enter?

To enter, simply retweet this tweet on your twitter account and follow us.

The winner will be picked at random on Monday 29th August.

To take a sneak peek of the recipe book online to wet your appetite, just click here.

Good luck all!

IMG_7511 (2) IMG_7514 (2)  IMG_7516 (2) IMG_7517 (2)

Something Sweet, Something For Snacks, Something For Breakfast

Anytime Pancakes

Anytime Pancakes

Anytime Pancakes

Anytime Pancakes

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: Banana, egg and any toppings you wish!

These beauties were going to be called breakfast pancakes, until when I thought about it, you could have them at any point in the day. So, now they’re called ‘Anytime’ pancakes. Original, huh!

Made with just TWO ingredients, these pancakes are great to make when you’re short on time as there’s no need to measure either.

Packed full of natural protein with eggs, save this anytime pancakes recipe for when you really need a protein or carb boost but don’t have much time to prepare anything. You could also eat them savory with pulled pork and some BBQ sauce. Now there’s an idea!

In this recipe, I used some jimjams chocolate spread to finish off and add that hit of chocolate. Jimjams produce low sugar versions of your favourite spreads and jams. The company was originally founded after being horrified about how much sugar is in a lot of children’s spreads and jams (a company after my own heart!) and subsequently produce low sugar versions of all your favourite treats. Their spreads and jams are available in most major supermarkets so make sure you get hold of some to keep in the cupboard.

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

Remember to save the recipe by pinning it to your pinterest board or saving to your bookmarks. PSST, did you know our website has been set up specificially with mobiles and tablets in mind? Bookmark our home page to use it like an app!

Anytime Pancakes
Anytime Pancakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Anytime Pancakes
Anytime Pancakes
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5-10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a bowl, add your banana and crack your eggs. Get a hand or stick blender and blend until you get a smooth mixture, which resembles pancake mixture.
  2. In a pan, heat coconut oil to temperature and add your mixture, one spoon at a time. To get the small round pancakes I just use a tablespoon and spoon in a couple of spoon-fulls per pancake. You'll soon get the hang of it.
  3. Cook evenly on both sides. You'll get to know when the pancakes are ready to turn as you'll see them go golden brown on the edges underneath. Use a fish slice to flip them over gently.
  4. Serve with which ever toppings you wish. Here I used greek yoghurt, strawberries, jimjams chocolate spread and chia seeds.
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September 12, 2015
Something Sweet

Chocolate Ganache Tart

chocolate gnache tart

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Chocolate Ganache Tart

Prep time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Fridge time: 2 hours

Ingredients: coconut oil, honey, desiccated coconut, cacao powder, dark chocolate, coconut cream, double cream.

 

This Chocolate Ganache Tart recipe is one I’ve slightly adapted from one of my favourite cook books by the lovely Sarah Wilson. Take a look at her blog and books here, I can whole-heartedly recommend them all!

Why adapt something that’s perfect? Well, after making the recipe myself, I found some of the centre had room for improvement for my palette. Not being quite as strict as Sarah, I allowed a few extra ingredients to work their way in there and the Chocolate Ganache Tart was born!

This recipe is low in sugar and gluten free too. And if you don’t use the cream like I did, you could get away with it being dairy free too!

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

Remember to save the recipe by pinning it to your pinterest board or saving to your bookmarks. PSST, did you know our website has been set up specificially with mobiles and tablets in mind? Bookmark our home page to use it like an app!

chocolate gnache tart
Chocolate Gnache Tart
Print Recipe
Servings
12
Servings
12
chocolate gnache tart
Chocolate Gnache Tart
Print Recipe
Servings
12
Servings
12
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Heat the oven to 160oC (fan).
  2. For the crust melt your coconul oil in a pan over a low heat. Add your honey and desiccated coconut. Take off the heat and whilst warm, add in your cacao powder. Mix until even.
  3. Press the crust base into your pasty tray. I used a quiche baking tray with a removable base to get the wavy edges. Once you've pressed your base around your tray, put in the oven for no more than 10 minutes. We don't want it to burn! Take it out the oven and leave to one side to cool.
  4. To make the ganache, boil a large pan of water over the hob and place an oven proof/heat proof large bowl over the top to form a bain marie.
  5. In your bain marie, add your chocolate and melt until smooth. Then add your coconut cream. Take off the bain marie and add your thick double cream whilst it all cools. Whilst still melted, pour the ganache into the base/crust and place in the fridge. Leave it in there until set, at least 2-3 hours.
  6. To serve, sprinkle with fresh raspberries, single cream and cacao powder.
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Something Quick

Simple Salmon Salsa

Simple Salmon Salsa

Simple Salmon Salsa

Simple Salmon Salsa

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients: Salmon fillet, green beans, cucumber, tomatoes, sesame seeds, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, salad.

A really quick Salmon Salsa to transform a really normal evening dinner into something perfect for summer.

This recipe is packed full of nutrients with several different vegetables… just look how green that plate is!

The Simple Salmon Salsa contains all ingredients you’re likely to have in your store cupboard, or are easily accessible to buy from your local supermarket.

I served this dish al fresco with some Elderflower Sours Pale Ale, available from Ashover Brewery.

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube! You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and ideas!

Simple Salmon Salsa
Simple Salmon Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Simple Salmon Salsa
Simple Salmon Salsa
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
15 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a frying pan heat your butter or olive oil and place your salmon fillets in the pan to cook, skin side down. Leave on a low heat so it's not spitting but is cooking and prep everything else.
  2. Boil a pan of water on the hob. Once it's boiled, turn all the way down or off, and drop in your beans to warm them through but keep them crunchy once you're salmon is ready.
  3. In a bowl, add your chopped or diced cucumber, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, sesame seeds, apple cider vinegar, sesame oil and salt. Mix and leave to infuse until your salmon has cooked.
  4. Once your salmon is almost cooked all the way through, flip it on to its other sides just to finish it off.
  5. On a plate add your salad, drained green beans and then your salmon. Spoon on your 'salsa' and serve with a pale ale or as I have, Elderfloiwer ale!
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The Food Blog, Something Cheap

Stuffed Butternut Squash

DSCF7367 (2)

stuffed butternut squash

Stuffed Butternut Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Stuffed butternut squash is cheap, nutritious and easy to make. Squash is not only cheap, it’s really high in vitamins A and C so when they’re all in season in Autumn, make sure you stock up! They’ll help keep you ‘cold free’ through the winter and they taste really great with little seasoning!

This recipe can be changed up a little. Why not serve with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar? Or even some olives and sundried tomatoes for a more Mediterranean feel? Go wild!

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube! You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and ideas!

 

Stuffed Butternut Squash
Print Recipe
A cheap, nutritious and easy meal and suitable for vegetarians too!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
1 person 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Stuffed Butternut Squash
Print Recipe
A cheap, nutritious and easy meal and suitable for vegetarians too!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Servings Prep Time
1 person 10 minutes
Cook Time
1 hour
Instructions
  1. Halve your butternut squash or seasonal squash and scoop out the seeds and flesh.
  2. Set your oven to gas mark 7 or 180oC in a fan oven.
  3. Place your squash on a baking tray and pour with a little olive oil. Sprinkle a little Himalayan salt and pepper and bake for 45 minutes.
  4. Once those 45 minutes are up, take out the oven and add your leeks and tomatoes to the middle of the squash. Sprinkle with the turmeric and place back in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Take out the oven and sprinkle your coriander and sesame seeds to serve. You could also serve with a little more olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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Something To Drink, Something For Breakfast

Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

blueberry breakfast smoothie

blueberry breakfast smoothie

Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: Blueberries, turmeric, coconut milk, coconut oil, chia seeds

 

This is one of my go to breakfast smoothies. I prepare it the night before and drink at work. It’s one of those I can drink just before a meeting to keep me fuelled and feeling awake rather than leaving me feeling sluggish and bloated. There’s also so many different things you can add to it to make it a little different each time. Why not try taking out the turmeric and adding a little cinnamon instead? Or even a little cacao powder, or maybe some coffee! Save it down and have this blueberry breakfast smoothie on hand for when you need a quick, easy fuel in a morning.

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

blueberry breakfast smoothie
Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
Print Recipe
This is one of my go to breakfast smoothies. I prepare it the night before and drink at work. It's one of those I can drink just before a meeting to keep me fuelled and feeling awake rather than leaving me feeling sluggish and bloated.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
blueberry breakfast smoothie
Blueberry Breakfast Smoothie
Print Recipe
This is one of my go to breakfast smoothies. I prepare it the night before and drink at work. It's one of those I can drink just before a meeting to keep me fuelled and feeling awake rather than leaving me feeling sluggish and bloated.
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Add everything but your chia seeds to a blender and blitz for 1 minute or until smooth.
  2. Serve over a little ice and sprinkle with chia seeds.
Share this Recipe
Something To Drink, Something For Breakfast

Snick Smoothie

20160723_092823

snick smoothie

Snick Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: Peanut butter, cacao powder, coconut milk, brown linseeds, natural yoghurt, coconut oil

 

Snick smoothie might remind you of a well-known chocolate bar, but without all the calories or all the sugar! It’s a great ‘hangover smoothie’ and a great morning treat/comfort food drink. Give it a try next time you feel yourself reaching for the chocolate bars… guilt-free and tasty. It’s possible!

 

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

Remember to save the recipe by pinning it to your pinterest board or saving to your bookmarks. PSST, did you know our website has been set up specificially with mobiles and tablets in mind? Bookmark our home page to use it like an app!

Snick Smoothie
Print Recipe
Try this snick smoothie next time you find yourself reaching for the chocolate bars... it's really tasty and won't leave you feeling guilty afterwards!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Snick Smoothie
Print Recipe
Try this snick smoothie next time you find yourself reaching for the chocolate bars... it's really tasty and won't leave you feeling guilty afterwards!
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. In a blender, add your milk, peanut butter, cacao powder, coconut oil and full fat yoghurt.
  2. Blitz for a minute in your blender or until silky smooth!
  3. Serve in your favourite cup and sprinkle with brown linseeds. Enjoy!
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The Food Blog, Something To Drink

Low Sugar Mojito

low sugar mojito

low sugar mojito

Low Sugar Mojito

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients: sparkling water, lime, white rum, ice, mint, rice malt syrup or honey (optional)

 

I love a cocktail. I’m much more of a cocktail person than going out and getting battered and ending the night in a greasy kebab shop or McDonalds with bouncers… I don’t like going out to get drunk but what I do love is a civilised evening, chatting and joking with friends and just having a good time with good people. So naturally, cocktails and wine bars are my usual hang-outs.

Saying that, I can’t drink many cocktails on a night out before I start to feel really ill. Not from the amount of alcohol, but the amount of sugar in cocktails. One of the reasons I quit sugar in the first place were crippling migraines I’d suffer from which turned out to be linked to my diet. So I can’t drink or eat much sugar at all – not even a glass of fizzy drink, without getting a migraine.

This has meant having to figure out ways to drink cocktails without all the sugar and staying away from cocktails with loads of sugar or coke, lemonade… etc

This mojito recipe has a few different options. I drink it without the rice malt syrup or honey but I’m aware my palette is adapted to low sugar drinks and foods, so I don’t necessarily notice the cocktail isn’t sweet. For people with a sweet tooth, just substitute the thick brown sugar in the bottom for no more than 1tsp of natural honey or rice malt syrup.

I also don’t have any tall glasses so, I served my low sugar mojito in a red wine glass. Got to make the most of what you got!

Ingredients for 1 Low Sugar Mojito

  • 200ml sparkling water
  • double shot of white rum
  • 1/4 lime juice and rind
  • sprig of crushed mint
  • some ice cubes
  • Optional: 1 tsp rice malt syrup or natural honey

Add all your ingredients apart from the sparkling water to your cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously and pour into your glass. Serve your water over the top. For the best results, leave for a few minutes before tucking in… It lets the lime and mint infuse beautifully!

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

Remember to save the recipe by pinning it to your pinterest board or saving to your bookmarks. PSST, did you know our website has been set up specificially with mobiles and tablets in mind? Bookmark our home page to use it like an app!

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The Lifestyle Blog, Featured News

New Props & Dinner Wear | Lifestyle

Introducing (94)

dinner wear dinner wear  DSCF7346 DSCF7347 DSCF7350 DSCF7353

Dinner Wear & Props

Just a quick little post to show off my new dinner wear that will be making the blog look even prettier than it already does! Ok I’m biased I know…

I got this lot, minus the lovely Denby bowl in the middle which was from the factory outlet, from my local TK maxx for just £25! Everything is of really high quality and built to last, which is good for me because I’m very clumsy with things that break! The Turkish looking items you see are either made in Turkey or Tunisia (they all come from different places), but all are hand painted, which I absolutely loved. I think they’ll add a little uniqueness to the blog anyway.

I also really loved the kilner looking jar with a handle for some summer drinks and cocktails, and I couldn’t resist the straws! They’re biodegrade too as they’re made of paper, even better.

Anyway, look out for the new props being used in some of the photos soon… I hope they add a little brightness to the pictures!

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Fakeaway Fish and Chips

fakeaway fish and chips

fakeaway fish and chips

Fakeaway Fish and Chips

This fakeaway fish and chips recipe won’t leave you feeling like you miss the real thing, because it’s so much better. With that little ‘greasy element’ coming from the butter baked fish, sweet potato fries rich in nutrients and those green veg on the side, you won’t miss that local chippy one bit.

Rather than being high in grease and simple carbs, this take on fish and chips contains lots of nutrients such as complex carbs, vitamin C, iron and more… it’s certainly a lot better for you than it’s takeaway cousin. Add a wedge of lemon on the side to finish it off!

Go on, give it a go! You won’t be disappointed…

If you’re wanting to make fakeaway fish and chips for a dinner party, why not serve it tapas style? Let everyone help themselves to exactly what they need and that way, there’s little wastage! Did I mention it tastes even better with a bit of white wine?

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

Remember to save the recipe by pinning it to your pinterest board or saving to your bookmarks. PSST, did you know our website has been set up specificially with mobiles and tablets in mind? Bookmark our home page to use it like an app!

fakeaway fish and chips
Fakeaway Fish and Chips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
fakeaway fish and chips
Fakeaway Fish and Chips
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 person 5 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: person
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to gas mark 7 or 180oC fan oven.
  2. Chop your sweet potato into chip-like chunks. Place them on a baking tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, grab a square of tin foil and place your fish into it. Onto the fish place the knob of butter, salt and pepper. Wrap the tin foil to form a parcel. When the chips only have ten minutes left, add the fish to the oven along with the chips and cook both together for the remaining ten minutes.
  4. Meanwhile boil some water in a pan and add your tenderstem brocolli. Cook for 5 minutes or so.
  5. When everything is nearly done add your spinach to a bowl with a little bit of butter and cook in the microwave for 1 minute.
  6. Serve everything on a plate together or if you're going for 'something posh' serve like tapas. Tapas is posh, right!?
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January 19, 2016
Something To Drink

Homemade Raspberry Squash

how to make your own squash

Homemade Raspberry Squash

Homemade Raspberry Squash

Completely by accident, I happened to stumble across a pretty neat way to make your own squash or cordial with no added sugars or preservatives… pretty cheap too!

I wanted to make myself an iced tea but didn’t really have anything to make one with. Unusually I was out of dried herbs and flowers, and all I had in was a little fruit that was starting to go a little mushy. It was perfectly fine to eat, it had just seen better days. I’d been at work all day and I just wanted a refreshing drink to sit on my balcony and chill out before I cooked tea. So, I discovered this pretty cool little way to turn most fruits into a little homemade squash drink. Homemade raspberry squash I now call it! So here is it, a little ‘how to’ on how to make your own homemade raspberry squash!’

I used raspberries for this squash drink as you can see above, but it should work with most berries or even oranges or tangerines. Lemons would work pretty well to for a little ‘homemade lemonade’ … I might save that one for another day!

What do you need to make your own squash?

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube!

how to make your own squash
Homemade Raspberry Squash
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
how to make your own squash
Homemade Raspberry Squash
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Put your raspberries in a teapot and pour your boiling water over. Leave to infuse for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Pour the infused water through a tea strainer and into your cups.
  3. Top the cups up with cold water and add 4 ice cubes.
  4. Serve with a straw and plenty of sunshine!
Recipe Notes

As you can see, I also added some of the strained mixture to the glass but you don't have to.

This recipe will work with many different berries and fruits such as oranges and lemons for homemade lemonade.

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Related posts
Familiar Hazelnut Truffles
August 15, 2016
Fakeaway Fish and Chips
July 21, 2016
Low Sugar Raspberry Yogurt
July 7, 2016
Something Quick, Something Cheap, Something For Work

Easy Kale Salad

simple kale salad

easy kale salad

Salads don’t get much more nutritious or tasty that this… it’s a great salad cold or warm and won’t leave you feeling hungry or slumpy mid-afternoon when most people in the office reach for their sugar fix.

So what do you need for the easy kale salad? There’s only a few ingredients and you can always add those straggly leftovers into it too… there are no rules with a salad!

With this recipe, it completely depends on how many you are making the salad for, so I haven’t put any amounts next to the ingredients. Feel free to add as much or as little as you like because that’s how recipes should work… you make them to your own taste!

Follow us on social media too, we’re on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now Youtube! You’ll find all sorts of inspiration and ideas!

Easy Kale Salad

simple kale salad
Easy Kale Salad
Print Recipe
A nutritious, tasty salad perfect for taking to work, serving alongside a main meal or when you just need something quick!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
simple kale salad
Easy Kale Salad
Print Recipe
A nutritious, tasty salad perfect for taking to work, serving alongside a main meal or when you just need something quick!
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. In a large salad bowl, add your steamed (or boiled) kale and boiled quinoa.
  2. Finely dice your beetroot, tomatoes and red onion and toss these into the salad bowl with the kale and quinoa.
  3. Add in your pomegranate seeds to the salad bowl with the salt and olive oil and toss until all is covered.
  4. Place in an airtight container in the fridge and use when needed. It will keep for a couple of days in the fridge so why not split it up into lunch time meals and have a little extra with your evening meal?
Recipe Notes

NOTE: If you're unsure how to cook kale or quinoa; Boil or steam kale in water for no more than 10 minutes. Cook quinoa like rice (the instructions will be on the packet!)

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Poached Peaches Persian Style
September 26, 2016
Turmeric Tea
May 1, 2016
Warm Melon Superfood Salad
February 11, 2016
The Food Blog, Something Quick, Something Posh, Something For Snacks, Something For Breakfast

Baked Avocado and Egg

DSCF7335

 

DSCF7335

Baked Avocado and Egg

Looking for the ultimate healthy breakfast to set you up for the rest of the day? Well we’ve found it!

If you’ve not jumped on the baked avocado bandwagon yet… where on earth have you been? Avocados are one of natures best medicines. High in fat which is essential for absorbing nutrients as well as gut heath as they’re high in essential fibre, plus vitamin B6 and vitamin C.

So why eat Baked Avocado and egg for breakfast?

Well, being so high in essential nutrients (fibre, vitamin B6 and C) plus being high in fat, it means eating this for breakfast, with eggs AND chilli, it kick starts your metabolism and keeps you full right up until lunch. The main reason why people don’t stick to healthy eating is because they don’t eat enough or don’t eat enough of the right foods. Eating this breakfast will fill you up and set you up for a productive day!

It’s also really easy to make baked avocado and egg. All you need is an avocado, eggs (I used duck eggs as I get them daily from my own ducks… now that’s fresh!), a clove of garlic, hollandaise sauce and ground chilli.

Set your oven to 180oC.

Half your avocado and hollow out a little more in the middle, just enough for an egg yolk to sit in there comfortably.

Crack your eggs into a bowl. With a spoon, spoon out the yolk and place into your avocado. Top up with egg white if there’s some room in the avocado hole. Add chopped garlic and a little Himalayan salt to the top.

Bake on a baking tray for 15 minutes.

To serve, serve with a little hollandaise sauce. You can buy it or make it using our recipe here. Top with a little ground chilli and you’re set up for the day!

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Oriental Slow Cooker Beef | Food

oriental slow cooker beef

oriental slow cooker beef oriental slow cooker beef oriental slow cooker beef

Slow Cooker Beef Oriental Style

I use my slow cooker on an almost daily basis. I’m out of the house for nearly 12 hours most days with a long commute so quite frankly, my slow cooker can be a lifesaver. Who can be bothered to stand and cook for 30 minutes + when you’ve had a long day at work?

I try and buy a mixture of meat cuts for throughout the week and they usually depend on what’s on offer. Beef, lamb, pork and all different cuts of each, curries, stews… you name it, you can cook it in the slow cooker.

So this little recipe was born out of need. I wanted something Chinese style to bust the craving I had for a takeaway ( I LOVE a good takeaway). But I know they’re not exactly great for you, so, I set about making my own little cheat recipe. Here it is, slow cooker beef, oriental style!

Ingredients

  • 2 beef steaks (brisket, braising, any cut you should cook for long periods)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • Grating of fresh ginger
  • Sprig roughly chopped spring onions

Method

  1. Set your slow cooker to low.
  2. Place all oil in the bottom of the slow cooker and roll around to cover all the bottom.
  3. Add in your steaks.
  4. On top of your steaks, add in the soy sauce, sesame oil and seeds, ginger and spring onions.
  5. Cook for recommended time (should be around 8 hours on low setting).
  6. Serve with quinoa, blanched tomatoes and a boiled egg! Easy.

TIP: Instead of throwing away all the oil and sauce in the bottom of your slow cooker, pour it over the steak and quinoa to moisten and add a little Chinese style ‘gravy.’

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Review: Sheridan Smith Returns To Funny Girl *****

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Sheridan Smith Returns To Funny Girl Sheridan Smith Returns To Funny Girl  Sheridan Smith Returns To Funny Girl

funny girl Sheridan smith

Review: Sheridan Smith Returns To Funny Girl *****

Friday 8th July 2016… the day Sheridan Smith returns to Funny Girl at The Savoy Theatre, London.

The evening started out like any other good theatre evening; a burger, a couple of wines and a leisurely walk to the theatre in the smoggy London heat. As we were walking to the theatre from Soho, we discussed the excitement we had for seeing the current funny Girl, Natasha Barnes, who’d been subjected to rave reviews by critics and joked about how brilliant it would be if tonight was Sheridan Smith’s first night back. We bought our tickets back in late April/early May, a couple of weeks before Sheridan Smith took a leave of absence. At the time, the statement was Sheridan would reprise her role as Fanny no later than 11th July. Well, now we were on 8th July but with no announcements, or even whispers of a near return, we had resigned ourselves to watching Natasha’s Fanny Brice…

The Savoy Theatre, situated right outside the grand entrance to the 5* Savoy Hotel, is a beautifully quaint, early 1900’s style theatre which seats only 1,158 people making it a snuggly affair once inside. Although there are three tiers, the tiers are narrow and steep. Visibility is still good at the top however, as long as you don’t have ignorant people leaning over the safety rail…!

We were settled in our seats, just below the lighting box, ready for the show to start at 7.30pm. Suddenly over the speaker the announcement came…

“Ladies and Gentleman, in tonight’s performance, Nick Arnstein will be played by Matthew Goodgame and Fanny Brice will be played by [you could tell the stage manager was going to enjoy this reaction] … Sheridan Smith!”

I don’t think I’ve ever heard a reaction quite like the one which erupted after that announcement. Sheridan Smith returns to Funny Girl! It made me feel emotional just to know there was so much love in the room for Sheridan upon her return. It’s been a tough few months for the actress and this reaction must have been the positivity she needed to get through her first show back. I was proud to be in the audience!

I didn’t really know any of the story, or the songs of Funny Girl, before I saw the show. I went in with no expectations or pre-conceived ideas, and went to enjoy the night as a classic night in musical theatre. I was in for a real treat!

The only song I knew was “Rain on my Parade” – everyone know that one surely!? But all the songs were a real treat. The musical was littered with catchy tunes, funny scenes and comical dance scenes. I couldn’t help but think that this role was made for Sheridan Smith, or Sheridan was made for the role. It was almost like she was playing herself in a lot of scenes.

I won’t spoil any of the plot for people who aren’t aware as I think it’s great to go in with no idea of what will happen, but what I will say is that it’s a brilliant watch, easy to follow story with song after song which will leave you with a mix of emotions; happiness, sadness, tears and belly laughs… lots of belly laughs!

The best bit about the night for me, was the closing scene and very emotional standing ovation for Sheridan at the end. I’ve never felt goosebumps like it. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. All 1,158 people on their feet, cheering and clapping, sending their positive energy to the stage in an almighty ‘thank you and welcome back.’ Humanity prevails!

Welcome back Sheridan, may your star shine bright for years to come.

Rating: *****

 Pro’s: Superb performances from every single cast member, catchy tunes and a reason to fall in love with theatre all over again. Sheridan Smith reprises role as Fanny Brice. Sheridan Smith returns to Funny Girl!

Con’s: None! It didn’t last long enough?

Top Tip: Check SeatPlan.com for the best seats in your price bracket.

 

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Review: Aladdin The Musical ***

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Review: Aladdin The Musical ***

Review: Aladdin The Musical ***

Review: Aladdin The Musical ***

On Thursday 7th July 2016, my brother and I packed our bags and headed to London for our annual sibbling trip. We both love musical theatre so when we go to London, we cram in as many musicals as we can afford (time and money wise!) for our yearly fill.

This year, we chose 3 musicals which were all completely different… Disney’s Aladdin the Musical would kick off proceedings, followed by Funny Girl and In The Heights. Three shows over three days. It was going to be epic!

We arrived at the Theatre (Price Edward Theatre) for Aladdin the Musical, which is the same theatre I saw both Miss Saigon and Jersey Boys, plenty early enough to make use of the bar facilities before hand. It’s not the theatre without a tipple! We opted for the matinee as Aladdin has a Thursday and Saturday matinee making it great for school trips and family outings especially throughout the summer holidays. For all performances we opted for the ‘cheaper’ seats (still £50+ a pop mind), as when you’re seeing 3 shows, it gets a bit expensive! If money’s no object, absolutely go for the stalls or dress circle. You always get the best view of costumes and the best atmosphere. If however you’re on a budget my tip would be to go to SeatPlan.com where you can get the low down on the seats you’re looking to buy. Really helpful, especially where there are unknown rails or obstructions in the way.

Anyway, it was Thursday afternoon and the Disney Aladdin the Musical matinee. The show kicked off with a bright, colourful number and a pantomime like introduction from the Genie. It was funny and got the kids chuckling away and joining in, which is what Disney is all about!

The show contained all the classics from the movie you’d remember; “Friend Like Me” was brilliant – the Genie, played by Trevor Dion Nicholas was, for me, the stand out performance in the cast. Very funny, great comedic timing and something for the kids and adults alike. You would however expect him to be good at the role, having played the same role on Broadway.

Other stand out songs included the catchy, comical “Prince Ali,” and “Arabian Nights” but a special mention must go to “A Whole New World.” As Aladdin (played by Dean John-Wilson) and Jasmine’s (played by Jade Ewan) voices melted together in harmony, they quite literally flew through the sky on a magic carpet. I have absolutely no idea how it was done, but the whole set became a full night sky. It was a true spectacle and definitely up there with one of the most visually impressive scenes I’ve seen on the West End.

With great performances from several of the cast – Aladdin and Jasmine must be credited for a believable performance, enchanting as Disney musicals should be, it should be said that I think this is definitely one for the kids or Disney lovers. If you don’t really like Disney but love musicals, this probably isn’t for you. A little ‘pantomime’ in parts and saturated with ‘cheese’, if you’re wanting a serious musical head to In The Heights or Funny Girl or Les Mis… if however, you’re looking for a fun night out, with songs you can hum or sing along quietly to, or have a little boogy in your seats, this is your musical. A great family show with something to attract everyone’s attention.

Star rating ***

Pros: Light-hearted, familiar musical with something for all the family. Great visuals with the magic carpet and recognisable tunes throughout.

Cons: Can be a little pantomime in parts – not one for the lover of serious musicals.

Top tip: Go in and watch with the aim to have fun and you won’t be disappointed. Top tier seats still have great viewing so if you don’t want to spend £150+ on a ticket, the ones at £50 are perfectly fine, just check SeatPlan.com for the savvy deal!

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Low Sugar Raspberry Yogurt

low sugar raspberry yoghurt

low sugar raspberry yogurt   low sugar raspberry yoghurt

Low Sugar Raspberry Yogurt

As a kid I used to really enjoy tucking into one of those little yoghurts for breakfast or as a little dessert. Looking back they probably weren’t the healthiest of breakfasts but back in the earlier 90’s food labelling wasn’t quite as detailed as it now is (thank goodness it is!)

The little flavoured yogurts you get off the shelf are packed full of all sorts of artificial badness and sugars (some hidden), so I thought I’d do a really easy breakfast example of how you can just flavour your yogurt at home and use it as a base to make a simple breakfast that will keep you going until lunch. The below ‘recipe’ will work with most berries – why not give blackcurrent, strawberry or even blueberries a try?

What You’ll Need to make this Low Sugar Raspberry Yogurt

  • 200g natural full fat yogurt
  • 3 cups raspberries
  • Rolled oats
  • Fresh raspberries
  • coconut flakes

In a blender blitz the natural yogurt and berries until smooth.

To serve, place a couple of tablespoons of yogurt in the bottom of each pot, then put a tablespoon of oats, a few fresh raspberries and finish with some coconut flakes. You can serve as desired – there’s no restrictions on how much or how little you use! And there you have it, low sugar raspberry yogurt that tastes just as good as the little packs you had as a kid.

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Summer Bean Salad

summer bean salad

 

summer bean salad    summer bean salad

Summer Bean Salad

I get bored of eating the normal lettuce, tomato, maybe a bit of pepper salad for lunch. I always have a fridge and cupboard full of vegetables though so it makes making something a little different, that little bit easier. This morish summer bean salad was a product of one of those days where I just wanted to experiment, and it was so good that I had it for the rest of the week in my lunchbox at work! Give it a try and serve with some BBQ’d meat if you’re feeling a little adventurous :)

Ingredients for the Summer Bean Salad

  • Can mixed beans
  • Trimmed beans
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 beetroot (boiled)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil

Method

Take your can of mixed beans, open and drain. Make sure you rinse them thoroughly as sometimes there’s a horrible thick layer of water over the beans… you don’t want that! Into a bowl, add your mixed beans (usually include things like kidney beans, black eyed peas, chickpeas, trimmed beans, etc).

In a separate boil, pour boiling hot water over your trimmed beans and blanch for 5 minutes. This warms up the beans but still gives them a lovely flavour and crunch.

Into a large mixing bowl add your canned mixed beans and trimmed beans and toss.

Finely dice a red onion and beetroot and toss into the large mixing bowl. Then add your apple cider vinegar, olive oil and sesame oil and toss. Leave to infuse for 15 minutes and serve with sesame seeds on top.

Enjoyed this recipe? Check out more of our lunchspiration recipes to jazz up your lunch box!

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Raspberry Herbal Tea

raspberry herbal tea

raspberry herbal tea  raspberry herbal tea raspberry herbal tea

Raspberry Herbal Tea

I recently treated myself to a new teapot. The old Denby one I had, however lovely, had definitely seen better days and wasn’t great for blogging. It was dark green, tall and narrow which meant it was rubbish for taking photos!

I picked up this two person teapot from ProCook – it’s light, sturdy and has a really nice filter which can be easily dismantled for easy cleaning. It’s also see-through so I can take pictures of the teas I make and put them on my blog, hurrah! (It was also really reasonably priced I thought at £15).

Anyhow, I really wanted to try out my new little teapot but I didn’t have any loose herbal teas in. So I had a little think and came up with this refreshing ‘herbal tea’ which coincidentally is a great detox/cleansing tea. Why not give it a go?

What is Raspberry Herbal Tea good for?

There are 3 main ingredients in this tea (4 if you put some green tea in it too for extra antioxidants!) so I’m going to just highlight what nutrition you can count in this little tea.

Fresh raspberries – high in antioxidants, vitamin C, manganese and fibre. Because the raspberries break down when you pour the water of them, a lot of this nutrients is taken in by the body as the broken down fruit moves through the fine filter. It also makes it taste awesome…

Lavender – good for eye health (with healthy amounts of Vitamin A present in lavender), relatively high in calcium and iron). If you are on medication for anxiety or pain however, it may be wise to consult your doctor before eating or drinking large amounts of lavender.

Lime – high in Vitamin C and contains healthy amounts of fibre.

Green Tea – super high in antioxidants (especially the matcha version) and with anti-cancer properties. Used for a variety of all-round health benefits. If you don’t drink green tea, there’s lots of scientific research to make you change your mind, just click here!

How to make a Raspberry Herbal Tea

You really only need 3 ingredients for this one. If you wanted to make it a proper tea with tea leaves, I’d suggest putting a green tea bag in with the ingredients too. Pukka do a fantastic matcha green tea which would be beautiful in this.

So what do yo need?

  • A few crushed (fresh) raspberries
  • A sprig of fresh English lavender
  • A small, thin wedge of lime
  • Optional: a green tea bag or tea leaves

Simply tip all your herbs, fruit and tea  into the teapot. Pour boiling water over the concoction and leave for 3-4 minutes. You can drink this warm or cold over ice as it makes a really refreshing summer drink. You could always add a little tonic water or sparking water at the end for a slightly fizzy cold mocktail. Give it a try!

Over the next few weeks I will be adding more of my little tea recipes, so please do keep an eye out.

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Easy Stuffed Pepper Recipe

easy stuffed pepper recipe

easy stuffed pepper recipe

Easy Stuffed Pepper Recipe

A really easy, basic recipe that’s perfect for dinner parties as a simple starter or for an al fresco lunch.

The recipe is really low in sugar and involves just 4 basic ingredients; peppers, olive oil, feta cheese and rocket.

Ingredient (serves 2 for lunch, 4 for starter)

  • 4 mixed peppers
  • 25g feta cheese
  • 4 handfuls of rocket
  • olive oil

Method

It’s got an even more simple method too! Simply half your peppers, drizzle in olive oil, bake for 20 minutes on 180oC or until soft and bronzed on the edges. Serve with crumbled feta cheese or goats cheese and fresh rocket.

Ta dah! It’s really that easy to make this easy stuffed pepper recipe. It tastes so good… give it a try next time you can’t be bothered to cook or want something fast and nutritious! You won’t go wrong…

You can find the video recipe below, take a look, it makes it much easier to follow :) The recipe should take no more than 25 minutes for prep and cooking. It also works really well for a lunchbox treat as you can eat the peppers, once they’ve been roasted, cold.

For more low sugar recipes, head to the food section of the blog.

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How To Make Protein Bars

protein7

protein7 protein8

Make Protein Bars at Home

I have a lot of requests through twitter requested high-protein, natural meals or snacks that people can indulge in especially post/pre gym sessions. I’ve been meaning to put this recipe up for a while but because I wasn’t quite happy with my original recipe I gave the recipe a few tweaks so I’m now 100% happy with it. So if you’ve ever wondered how to make protein bars at home so you know EXACTLY what’s in them, just try this recipe!

Ingredients for making Protein Bars

  • 60g rolled oats
  • 60g almond flour
  • 40g cooked quinoa
  • 70g peanut butter
  • 100g dried apricots
  • 20g dessicated coconut plus 10g for rolling
  • 100g dried apples
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Method

Boil dried apples and leave them in boiling water for ten minutes to soften. Drain and add the cinnamon and place in a blender and blitz.

Into the blender add your oats, almond flour, coconut oil, cooked quinoa, peanut butter and coconut.

Place your blended mixture into a bowl and add your apricots, which should be roughly chopped.

Your mixture should be slightly damp. Take small chunks from the mixture, roll into a ball in your hand, dip in the left over 10g of desicated coconut and place on a baking tray.

Place in the fridge for a couple of hours to firm up.

Serve for breakfast, as a snack or as a dessert with a variety of berries, fruit and nuts.

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You can also fund more low sugar recipes in the recipes section by clicking here.

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Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2016 | Lifestyle

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Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2016

Every year for the last 4 years, my Mum and I have been to Ladies Day at Royal Ascot. So this year I thought I’d take my new camera and get some awesome pictures to show off just how great the day is, and why we go back year on year. So welcome to my Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2016 post!

If you’ve never been to Royal Ascot’s Ladies Day, I’m going to do a quick run through of the day and how everything works; I hope you enjoy it and maybe we’ll see you there next year!?

Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2016 – The Day

We travel to Ascot from Chesterfield which takes around 3 hours+ by coach. It usually means an early start so we can arrive before 12pm and have plenty of time to get dressed on the coach to make sure our outfits are looking fresh. The Queen doesn’t arrive until 2pm with the first race around 2.30pm, so there’s always plenty of time to get in, get your champagne and racecards and pick your winners if you aim to arrive around 12pm. We always book our tickets for The Queen Anne Enclosure (formerly the Grandstand), but there is a cheaper option ‘The Windsor Enclosure’ (formerly The Silver Ring), which offers guests the chance to watch the racing in a more relaxed environment with ‘less rules’ and the ability to take in your own sparkling wine. Personally, I prefer the pomp and circumstance of The Queen Anne Enclosure but there’s the option there if you just want to watch the racing.

The Queen Anne Enclosure also offers the best views to welcome The Queen and The Royal Party in the Paddock. You can also watch the jockeys mount, watch the presentations and the horse owners cheering on their horses, plus there’s loads of bars and eateries; my Mum and I opted this year for Afternoon Tea in the Queen Anne Enclosure, but there’s also champagne bars, fine dining, fish and chips, pizza… something to suit all palettes.

Racing starts at 2.30pm and there are 6 races every 30 minutes or so. To place a bet, buy a race card or find all the horses online (I like a race card and keep it as a momentum), and if you’re new to betting, head to the Bet Tote stands (you’ll find them pretty much everywhere). You can either fill in a card a little like how you manually do the lottery, or you can just hand them your sheet you’ve written down your horses on and tell them what you want to bet. Remember how much you want to spend and there is the option for each way betting to minimise risk if you’re not ok with losing money!

So after you’ve got your bets, it’s time to drink! There’s loads of places you can watch the racing; we usually watch from the Paddock, but there’s the Grandstand so you can watch the horses running down the straight to the finish. I find the Paddock less crowded and enjoy people watching on the horse owners so this is usually where we are. There’s screens all around too though, so if you wanted to go for a coffee or prop up the bar you can watch the racing from there.

If you’re lucky enough to win on a bet, take your slips to the booths where you purchased the tickets from and present your slips to the cashier. They will check them and give you your winnings. I’d recommend getting these every couple of races because one year, we were queuing for ages to get our winnings and the cashier ran out of cash!!!

So in short, Ascot Ladies Day is a brilliant day and Royal Ascot Ladies Day 2016 was EPIC.

I’ve written a few short, bullet point top tips below. Let me know if you’re thinking of going in 2017… I’m planning my outfit already!

My Top Tips – Royal Ascot Ladies Day – Queen Anne Enclosure

  • Keep your outfit demure – classy hat, classy dress, and non-skyscraper shoes! You’re on your feet a lot of the day and high heels all day + alcohol = very unlady like
  • Plan your day a little to not miss the best bits – Queen arrives at 2pm, Gold Cup is the 4th race, fine dining and afternoon tea options, etc
  • Betting – place to win or place to place (Each Way betting) – remember if you place £5 each way that’s £10 on a bet – it can get confusing so do a bit of brushing up before you go!
  • Buy a racecard – it’s a great way to keep track of the day, find all the best dining places, pick your horses and keep as a reminder of the day
  • Brollies and suncream – every year we’ve been we’ve been very lucky with the weather… but I feel this may run out soon!
  • Enjoy the day for what it is – an over-the-top, pomp and circumstance celebration… when else will you be able to dress up in such classy outfits!? Go wild!

For more information on Ascot, visit their website here.

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Trout Recipe for the BBQ: VIDEO

trout recipe

Trout Recipe for the BBQ

So I decided to take the plunge and record myself doing a recipe! So welcome to my first proper video blog, where I’m going to share one of my favourite trout recipes in time for a summer BBQ.

Why Trout?

Trout is a cheap, easily sourced fish which often gets a bit of a bad rep if you don’t buy it from a decent source. If you buy it slightly old it can taste a little muddy but if you buy it from a reliable source, it’s really cheap and contains a lot of omega-3 – great for brain, nerve, joint and all round general health! So if you’re concious you’re not eating enough oily fish, this recipe is a great way to pack some oily fish into your diet, in true summer BBQ style!

Trout can also be a little bit boney (nothing like the smaller oily fish like kippers or herrings though!), so it’s a great source of calcium.

The Recipe

All you need to make this tasty trout recipe for the BBQ is;

  • 4 trout fillets
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 2-3 tsp chipotle paste
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1-2 tsp fish sauce

Simply mix your olive oil, paste, coriander, turmeric and fish sauce in a bowl to form your marinade. Pour over the fish evenly and leave to marinate for 2-3 hours.

To cook, heat up a gribble pan and place directly on to the pan, skin side down. OR to cook on the BBQ, wrap in tin foil and cook until the fish has turned a pale pink.

Cooking should take no more than 10-15 minutes but it’s easy to tell when the fish is cooked – it will turn from salmon pink to pale pink.

I hope you enjoyed my first proper video blog. It always makes me laugh when I hear myself back, I’m so Northern!

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Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge, Derbyshire | Lifestyle

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The Gang at Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge

After scratching our heads over what on earth to do for my Grandma’s 80th birthday, we finally settled on Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge. My Grandma is a lady who doesn’t like fuss, and doesn’t really do posh or over the top events, so we settled on Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge as my Mum and I had already been for Mother’s Day and knew it was lovely; beautiful setting, friendly staff and good scones!!

Horlsey Lodge, for those who haven’t heard of it, is a lovely golf course near Derby with a high-pedigree course, which offers non-members both fine-dining, lunch and afternoon tea options. It’s not far from Denby Pottery or Derby and has quickly become, in the last 6 months, my ‘go-to’ place for an evening meal with my partner. It serves stunning, high quality, fine dining in a relaxed ‘Brasserie’ at really reasonable prices. If you do go for an evening meal, order either the lamb or the pork chop from the Chargrill menu… it’s to die for.

Anyway back to the afternoon tea. When you arrive, you will be greeted by friendly, happy to help staff who seat you in the Brasserie, overlooking the 9th hole. The Brasserie is beautifully decorated in a contemporary, British elegance style; heather balmoral tartan, stags antler chandeliers and ornithological printed wallpaper with thick oak tables and bucket suede seats. Classic vintage china is used to decorate the table when you arrive, finished with girly faux flowers. The perfect ‘special occasion’ setting.

The Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge offers a range of teas from your classic English Breakfast Tea to Assam, Ceylon tea to Earl Grey. I read a few online reviews complaining there was no Darjeeling  tea on offer, but there really is no need. I get the feeling sometimes people will moan for the sake of moaning and as I always say, if that’s all you need to worry about, your life is pretty amazing! You can also get top-up’s on the tea for no extra cost so don’t feel like your little pot has to last you the whole afternoon, the waiters are really friendly and are more than happy to top it up.

What’s included in the Afternoon Tea at Horsley Lodge?

We had more than enough food for the afternoon. In our setting (we didn’t opt for the extra champagne, although this was an option served both by the bottle and by the glass), we had;

  • Tea (several choices)
  • Sandwiches – tuna, cheese and chutney, ham and mustard
  • Scones (homemade with raisins, served warm with clotted cream and homemade jam)
  • Lime and Chocolate Macaroon
  • Lemon drizzle cake
  • Panna cotta
  • Fruit cake
  • Cheesecake

All in all, we really enjoyed our afternoon tea. I’ve had afternoon tea in a lot of places, my favourite ever being The Connaught, London, but this was beautiful and for the price, I really can’t fault it. £15 per head, and £7 for champagne if you wanted a glass. It’s really not pricey for the quality of the homemade cakes and scones and the glorious setting.

Rating: 4/5

Price: £15 per head

Champagne option: yes

Book online: yes – booking essential for Afternoon Tea

Tips: If there’s only a couple of you, ask for a window seat so you can watch golfers playing up to the 9th hole.

Website: horsleylodge.co.uk

I’ve got a few afternoon tea reviews coming up (included Royal Ascot Classic Afternoon tea on ladies day), so for all the latest make sure you’re following me on twitter and instagram :)

PS, this is definitely not low sugar! But it’s well worth the ‘cheat.’

 

 

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Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake

thickshake2

 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake  Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake

There are days when I really struggle on a low sugar diet. Sometimes you really want to, when you’ve had a bad day, just reach for the snickers bar… and that’s ok! Don’t beat yourself up about it. I have the occassional chocolate bar when I’m sat at my desk tearing my hair out about how many press releases I’ve been sent or making deadlines for things that are near on impossible to meet. A coffee and a snickers usually sorts me out… but for those days when you just want a dessert fix or a really good, tasty, honest milkshake, then this Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake recipe is one to save down in your book of tricks. It’s high in nutrients using cacao powder, coconut oil, turmeric and yoghurt but it also tastes exceedingly good. If you don’t believe me, just give it a try!

I found this recipe of a blog called Tastes Lovely and have just tweaked it every so slightly to suit my needs.

A couple of notes before we start though; I use cacao powder which is slightly more expensive than cocoa powder but totally worth the extra dollar. Cacao powder is produced in a different way to the cheaper cocoa powder and retains more of it’s nutrients from the cacao bean itself, whereas cocoa powder loses a lot of nutrients in the heating process. I also only every use Whole Earth Peanut Butter. This is absolutely not a plug but it’s only made with peanuts and doesn’t use unsustainable palm oil like a few of the other ‘natural’ peanut butters. Again, it’s slightly more expensive yes, but worth the extra money.

Right, let’s get on with making it shall we!

Ingredients & Recipe

  • 1 cup ice
  • 300ml coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp Yoghurt
  • 1 medium size banana
  • 2 tablespoons Peanut Butter
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flakes
  • 1 tablespoon cacao powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric

The method to making the Chocolate and Peanut Butter Thickshake is really easy, you just put it all in a blender and mix, and top with a little extra cacao powder and coconut flakes!

So next time you feel like you need a chocolate fix give this recipe a try, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

For all the latest follow me on Instagram and Twitter.

Watch the video recipe for this milkshake below!

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Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas

Enchiladas

Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas    chicken8

Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas

I’m trying a lot of gluten free alternative recipes at the moment for a few reasons; 1) my partner loves his bread but he really wants to give it up, so I’m trying to fill him up in other ways and 2) I hate that gloopy feeling you get after eating gluten rich foods. So, these Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas are designed to give you that Mexican Food hit but without the sluggish, bloated feeling afterwards. The ingredients and flavours are so good your really don’t need all the wraps and tacos they serve in Mexican food. Anyway, give this Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas recipe a go and see if you miss the bread. I bet you won’t!

Ingredients (Serves 2-4 if served with brown rice)

  • 300g chicken breast
  • 1 tin kidney beans
  • 2 leeks
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 tsp fajitas mix (available in the spices section at the supermarket)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 120g cheddar cheese
  • salt
  • greek yoghurt
  • guacamole

Method

To cook in slow cooker; add all ingredients to slow cooker excluding yoghurt, guacamole and cheese. Slow cook on low for 7-8 hours.

When you return from work, add the cheese and place under grill. Serve with yoghurt and guacamole.

To cook in oven; Preheat the oven to 180oC or gas mark 7.

  1. Chop your leeks, tomatoes and pepper and place in an oven proof casserole dish or similar.
  2. Chop 300g chicken breast and add into the dish.
  3. Crush and chop your garlic cloves and add these in to the dish. Add your fajita mix and your kidney beans and a little salt too and mix all the ingredients together with your hands so when it cooks it all cooks through the same.
  4. Place in the oven for 50 minutes.
  5. Once the 50 minutes is up, take it out the oven and grate 120g of cheese on top and place back in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Take out the oven and ensure the chicken is cooked before serving.
  7. Serve with greek yoghurt and guacamole.

Enjoy your Gluten Free Mexican Enchiladas! Don’t forget to follow us on facebook and twitter for all the latest!

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Persian Inspired Chia Pudding | Food

Persian Inspired Chia Pudding

Persian Inspired Chia Pudding  Persian Inspired Chia Pudding

Persian Inspired Chia Pudding

Persian Inspired Chia Pudding

I recently put a basic chia pudding recipe on here a few weeks ago and it went down so well, I thought I’d put together another one – this time for more of a dessert. This Persian Inspired Chia Pudding recipe was inspired by the herbs and flavours used in Persian cuisine but adapted to more of a western pallet for this dessert or breakfast recipe, whichever you choose!

Why is chia pudding good for you?

Well, for those who are new to the world of ‘low sugar living’ welcome… chia seeds are seeds rather than grains making them high in protein (so they’re really filling) but also high in iron, magnesium and calcium. A lot of women suffer especially with iron deficiencies so by eating these tasty puddings, you can help boost your iron levels quite a lot! Not only is chia pudding good for you, but it tastes GREAT and is so versitile – you can add lots of different flavour combinations and even use it as a palate cleanser.

Ingredients

  • 500ml coconut milk
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 80g chia seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 2 tsp crushed, dried rose petals
  • 1/8 nutmeg
  • Handful pistachios to serve

Method

  1. In a blender, blend your coconut milk and your banana until it forms a milkshake type consistency. Transfer to a measuring jug or similar.
  2. Slowly work in your chia seeds – spoon in a tablespoon at a time, stirring to ensure the chia seeds do not all float at the top.
  3. Crush the cardamom pods in a pestle and mortar and remove the seeds. Lightly crush the seeds and add to the chia pudding.
  4. Add your rose petals to the mixture, leaving a little to sprinkle on top to serve.
  5. Grate in 1/8 of a nutmeg into the mixture.
  6. Give it all one last stir and place in the fridge for 3-5 hours. It should then be fully soaked and thick.
  7. To serve, spoon into separate containers or wine glasses and sprinkle a little rose petals and pistachio nuts.
  8. Enjoy this guilt free recipe!

For more recipes, don’t forget to browse the site and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest!

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Low Sugar Cocktail Recipe

Low Sugar Cocktail Recipe

Low Sugar Cocktail Recipe

Low Sugar Cocktail Recipe

Summer, let’s face it, is a time when most of us are trying to watch our figure. We’ve let ourselves go a little over winter because we cover up so much of our bodies that when spring and summer arrives, we’re usually on a diet! This can prove tricky if you’re throwing a party or BBQ, or even just fancy a drink as you watch the sun set and image yourself on holiday. Well don’t fret, we’ve got a low sugar cocktail recipe just for you! Using just a few ingredients readily available at the supermarket, we’ve kept it simple. Taking inspiration from Madeira, this cocktail is a take on their extremely strong ‘local poison’ Poncha. It’s enough to put hairs on your chest but this version is a lot more drinkable and tasty!

What’s in the Low Sugar Cocktail Recipe?

This low sugar cocktail recipe contains just a few ingredients. The below will allow you to make around 6 tumbler glasses worth;

  • 200ml white rum (I used Branca which is a rum made in Madeira, but any white rum will do)
  • 300ml cold water
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Seeds of one passion fruit

Overnight, place the rum and passion fruit in a container and allow the seeds to soak up the rum. After they’ve soaked for long enough, add your water, honey and lemon.

Serve with ice and if you’re feeling particularly ‘in the mood’ add a little tropical fruit (a wedge of fresh pinneapple works really well!)

Now put your feet up and pretend you’re listening to the waves of the ocean lapping onto the white gold sand. See, low sugar cocktails aren’t so bad afterall!

For all the latest, follow me on twitter. Don’t forget to stop by and say hi so I can follow you back!

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Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand | Travel

Introducing (82)

 Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand

Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand

I’ve been to Royal Ascot on Ladies Day for several years with my mum. We go every year to enjoy this very special day out full of fashion, pimms and gambling. However, every year I also find myself looking round to see that some people clearly didn’t get the memo that this is a Royal event, and therefore certain standards should be adhered to. I’m absolutely not a snob; I’ve from a small village in Derbyshire and have a very normal job with a normal wage, but sometimes I think it’s good to have standards and stick to them. This is Ladies Day after all!

These Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand rules are rather specific to the Grandstand. The Royal Enclosure has very tight rules on clothing and is usually by invitation only. Whereas the Silver Ring is a lot more laid back with a lot less to do and see. Personally, I think it’s worth spending more money to go in the Grandstand because there’s so many eateries and champagne bars, chances to see the horses up close before they go out on to the course, chance to see the Queen and other Royals up close and also a chance to rub shoulders with the jockeys so, for me, if you can get tickets to the Grandstand it’s more than worth it.

The following rules are just from my own observations and I hope, useful for first time Royal Ascot attendees!

  1. Get Creative With Your Hat – you might never get chance to wear such a flamboyant hat and not look out of place!

They first year I went to Ascot I thought my hat was a little bit out there… it totally wasn’t. There were people walking round with full peacocks on their heads, umbrella hats, hats that wouldn’t fit through the doors… when are you ever going to get chance to go that mental with a hat ever again? Probably never. So go for it! Below are a few of the hats I’ve worn over the years. It should also be noted that hats have to be worn in the Grandstand area, so if you can’t beat them…

Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand

Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand

2. Wear comfy shoes!

I made this mistake the first year… never again! You have to walk quite a way to the entrance to the Grandstand so walking that 15-20 minute walk in uncomfy shoes is not fun and does put a bit of a damper on the rest of the day if you’ve got blisters by 12pm!If you insist on wearing those beautiful but uncomfortable shoes remember to put in a pair of fold up flats in your purse!

3. Choose a bag with a strap

Clutch bags look great in a photo but when you’re trying to sort out your racing slips, race card, champagne and walk at the same time… it’s not really very practical. Personally I find bags with long straps the most helpful as you can just swing them around your shoulder and waist and you’ve got both hands free for more drinks!

4. Think about your dress

It’s Royal Ascot so I think certain rules should be adhered to when it comes to dresses. I like something that reaches the knees or just above and something that’s fitted but doesn’t show every lump and bump, we don’t need skin tight ensembles. Also straps should be worn which I believe is a dress code request for the Grandstand; it certainly is for the Royal Enclosure. Keep classy and wear something suitable for the occasion.

5. Buy a Race Card

These are usually available for around £5 on your way in; they’re a beige coloured booklet with all the jockeys, horses, trainers and owners listed, so you can make an ‘educated’ bet. If you don’t like looking at all that stuff and you want to just bet on a name, that’s cool too, but I would still recommend a race card as they are a great memento of the day!

6. Take an umbrella or a shawl

I sound like your Grandma, I know, but because it is so busy if it does rain, you need something with you so you don’t miss all the action. An umbrella or a shawl is the perfect way to make sure you don’t get rained out of the action.

 

Apart from those tips, my TOP tip would be to just have a fantastic time. Drink your champagne in the sun and enjoy everything the day has to offer because it is a truly unique day.

If you are going this year, or want some more pointers, please feel free to ask my questions! I’m currently planning my hat for this year which is going to be peacock inspired… stay tuned for some posts about making the beast 😉

Follow me on twitter and Instagram too, and thanks for reading Royal Ascot Etiquette Grandstand :)

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5 Places Top of my Travel List | Travel

5 Places Top of my Travel List

5 Places Top of my Travel List

Places Top of my Travel List

I’m a big traveller at heart; I only wish I could do more of it, but as I’m sure most of you know, sometimes life and jobs just gets in the way, which is a shame, but otherwise how would you be able to pay for these trips! Unfortunately, we have to work to afford our luxuries, and that’s the way it goes :) Below, I’ve compiled a list of 5 places top of my travel list. Whilst it’s by no means comprehensive, it does show maybe my top priorities when it comes to travel, but also where I’d love to go most. It might change in the next few months and years, but who knows, I’d like to go on a few more adventures regardless!

Costa Rica

The main reason I go on holiday is to experience new cultures and see animals I can’t see at home. For those two reasons alone, Costa Rica is top of my list. British Airways have started doing direct flights from London to Costa Rica this year which has made it more accessible than ever. I really want to head over there for a couple of weeks to experience the jungle in all its glory, swing through the trees like a monkey (even though I’m scared of heights), observe some deadly creatures and just push the boundaries. I hear it also has STUNNING coastline so I’m thinking a week in the jungle and a week on the beach. Paradise? It is for me.

5 Places Top of my Travel List

Seville, Spain

Culture and History are of high importance to me, although I hate reading books, I love learning. Seville has been near the top of my list for a few years now, and I dream of visiting its cobbled, medieval style streets and soaking up it’s sun drenched culture. It’s only a couple of hours on a plane so I’m hoping to get there this year! Watch this space :)

Borneo

Can anyone else remember that program on CBBC in the mid 2000’s where a group of kids from all over the country were thrown together on some sort of conservation project… Serious Jungle! Ever since that program I’ve wanted to visit the orangutans in their natural habitat. Help with some conservation work and generally try and make a bit of a difference to these beautiful, but highly endangered creatures. It’s said that orangutans in the wild are most likely going to be extinct in our lifetime in the wild so before that happens, I really want to get out there and see them for myself.

5 Places Top of my Travel List

Ontario, Canada

I recently worked with the tourism board for Ontario in my day job in Digital Comms; their marketing campaign clearly worked on me, because I really want to go! There’s not many places in the world which has such diverse landscape and wildlife all at the same time. Roaring rivers and rapids, calming lagoons, rolling hills and breath-taking snowscapes. It pretty much has it all, and for me again, the wildlife just draws me to wanting to visit… especially bears. I’d LOVE to see bears in the wild, fishing, living their lives. Get. Me. To. Canada!

canada

canada2

New Zealand

I mean, just look at those photos below… do I need to say much more? I was recently speaking to someone I work with occasionally and had just got back from an epic NZ trip, paddling the natural rivers around the country. His shear enthusiasm and want to go back made me re-evaluate my top 5 places and placed NZ in that top 5 places on my travel list.

new zealand2 new zealand

Inspirational photos care of Unsplash to perfectly illustrate the places top of my travel list :)

 

So that’s me all out of ideas and feeling a little poor that I can’t afford to go to all these places straight away. I’d best get saving really!

Where’s top of your travel list for the next few years? I’d love to know if there’s somewhere I’ve maybe missed off that you think should be right up there, or any recommendations!

Thanks for stopping by and reading about the places top of my travel list; be sure to say hi on twitter or instagram :)

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Elephant Safari In Sri Lanka | Travel

elephant safari sri lanka

elephant safari in sri lanka

elephant safari in sri lanka elephant safari sri lanka elephant safari in sri lanka elephant safari in sri lanka elephant safari sri lanka 12027157_10156608216765214_1647752532062382669_o 12891069_10156608216255214_6163540685540447504_o

Elephant Safari In Sri Lanka

The day began with the alarming sound of Mat shouting ‘WOAH WOAH WOAH’ at the top of his voice, with panic vibrating through the air… He’d been to the toilet, flushed the chain and a HUGE huntsman spider had crawled out from the rim of the bowl and was now perched on the toilet lid. It was bigger than the palm of my hand and we, at the time, weren’t 100% sure whether the spider we were sharing our hut with was poisonous or not… after a google and a chat with the staff at Vil Uyana we were assured it was a huntsman spider and that although it could bite, was not dangerous. Phew! Well that’s certainly one way to get the adrenaline pumping in the morning, and we’d need it for the rest of the day!

TIP: Incense sticks appear to be used to ward off spiders and insects, so if you are scared of these sorts of creatures, just let reception know and they’ll make sure the room is topped up with some incense sticks!

Today, we were going on an elephant safari in Sri Lanka. And we were excited!

We met the hotel Naturalist, Chaminda at reception to begin our adventure around 3pm. We headed to Hurulu Eco Park which, in the dry season, is near where 300-400 elephants gather each night to feed, bathe, play and mate. Unfortunately, we were visiting in the wet season, which meant we weren’t able to see the awe-inspiring gathering.

We entered the park in a 4×4 and it didn’t take long before we spotted monkeys, bee eaters and other rare birds… there were no elephants to start with though; they have the clever idea of hiding in the forest whilst the burning sun is beaming down, then as it starts to drop around 4.30pm, they all emerge looking for food and water like magnets to a source.

We came across our first family of elephants around 4.30pm; two females and a baby. That encounter started a chain reaction of elephant sightings, culminating in a large bull elephant which wasn’t common to see. The elephants didn’t seem at all phased by human presence and would walk within a couple of metres of the jeep. Luckily, we didn’t encounter any particularly aggressive elephants but we were told a couple of weeks ago one of the elephants attacked a jeep like ours. No one was injured but it did remind us that although these animals are so beautiful and graceful, they’re still dangerous animals, so caution must be taken… they’re not cuddly toys after all. As long as you are respectful of them there’s absolutely nothing to worry about.

We thought our elephant safari in Sri Lanka had come to an end when we left the park but we were treated to one final sighting on the way back, which can be seen in the video below… Whilst driving through elephant corridor we came across a large herd of elephants grazing by the side of the road. They were eating and playing; then to my surprise, crossed the road just like humans at a pelican crossing! It was like something you’d see in a movie! One little lone elephant trotted behind playing catchup (see photo above) and they disappeared into the long grass, ending our experience by walking off into the sunset. It was magic.

For anyone going to Sri Lanka I’d hihgly recommend this elephant safari trip. A lot of people tie it in to one day with Sigiriya Rock in the morning. It might be a tiring day but it would be more than worth it!

Follow me on twitter and instagram to stay up to date with my travel, food, art and lifestyle posts.

You can find more posts about my Sri Lanka trip including Sigiriya Rock, Vil Uyana Reveiw and Loris Walk by clicking the links.

Thank you for reading!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

gluten free chocolate brownies

gluten free chocolate brownies

Gluten Free Chocolate Brownies

These gluten free chocolate brownies are certainly not low in sugar, however, they are excellent sources of fibre and protein, as well as including high amounts of essential nutrients so in my book, they’re allowed as a treat! Make a batch for you and your friends and that way, you can’t eat too much :)

Because these gluten free chocolate brownies are made with ingredients including prunes (excellent source of dietary fibre), coconut oil (high in dietary fat – an essential fat for the absorption of vitamins and minerals) and almond flour (a great source of protein, filling you up for longer), they’re a tasty, easy alternative to flour heavy brownies which leave you feeling bloated and sluggish due to the high amounts of gluten.

I’ve also used raw organic cocoa powder which has many health benefits, as well as lots of different seeds and nuts such as brown linseed, sunflower seeds, pecans and pistachios.

Convinced the gluten free chocolate brownies are for you now? Let’s get baking.

Ingredients (makes approx 12 slices)

  • 400g soaked prunes
  • 40g raw organic cocoa powder
  • 60ml melted coconut oil
  • 125g ground almonds
  • pinch himilayan salt
  • 1 tablespoon brown linseeds (or any other small seeds ie flaxseeds, sesame seeds, etc)
  • 20g de-shelled, chopped pistachio
  • 50g chopped pecans
  • 50g dried blueberries, cranberries or chopped cherries
  • 20g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dessicated coconut

Method

There’s a lot of ingredients in these gluten free chocolate brownies compared to my usual ingredients list, but with all the different seeds and nuts, it makes for a great treat with a bit of nutritional value on the side, which is more than can be said for most brownies (probably why we love them so much!)

Soak your dates in warm water for ten minutes then drain off. Blitz with a hand blender until they form a paste. Add in your cocoa powder and coconut oil and blitz again. This should form a thick paste.

When you’ve got to the paste stage, grab a wooden spoon and work in the almond flour. You could also use coconut flour instead of almond flour but I find coconut flour more overwhelming and drier than almond flour, so it’s not my first choice. It’s also usually really expensive!

Once you’ve worked in your almond flour with a wooden spoon, add the rest of your ingredients, using all but the coconut as this is to decorate!

Line a small baking tray with baking paper, spread out the mixture and pat down to form a thick brownie like shape. Sprinkle your coconut on top and add to the fridge for 3 hours to chill. Serve up on its own or with a little peanut butter and cream!

Remember, these brownies have natural sugars in them, they are not sugar free! Eat sparingly and share :)

For more food inspiration, low sugar or gluten free treats, follow me on twitter and instagram :)

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Persian Fragranced Salmon

Persian Fraganced Salmon

DSCF7232  DSCF7237

Persian Fragranced Salmon

One of my favourite cookery books I own is Persiana by Sabrina Ghayour. Her simple, fragranced, Persian inspired book full of contemporary recipes make it my ‘go to’ book whenever I’m stuck for flavour combinations or just pictures to inspire some creativity.

I’ve picked up a lot of tricks and tips from her books which have lead to a store cupboard full of middle-eastern spices which I can use on their own or mixed together to create stunning combinations and flavours that explode on your tastebuds… this is absolutely one of those! Middle-eastern cuisine has had a bit of an insurgence over the last few years in the UK and I for one am so pleased it has. I’d go as far to say it’s now one of my favourite styles to cook because if its simple nature but overpowering flavour complexities. I’m feeling hungry just thinking about it!

So, if you’re interested in making the Persian fragranced salmon, all you’ll need are a few ingredients readily available at your local supermarket.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 x salmon fillets
  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered
  • handful fresh coriander
  • 2 tsp sumac
  • olive oil

Method

To make the Persian fragranced salmon, grab a baking tray and place your salmon fillets skin side down on the tray. Sprinkle your 2 tsp of sumac over each fillet, roughly chop the coriander to release all the flavour and sprinkle over, and place your quartered preserved lemons on top. Drizzle with olive oil.

Place in an oven on 180oC and cook for 10-15 minutes depending on your fillet size. I used 250g fillets and they took around 15 minutes to look like the above.

When you open that oven and smell the strong lemon scent, your mouth will start watering! I served this meal with sweet potatoes and boiled samphire which beautifully compliments the fish and adds a lovely salty element to go with the preserved lemons.

Enjoy, and don’t forget to follow on Twitter and Instagram :)

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Gluten Free Muesli Recipe

Gluten Free Homemade Muesli Recipe

Gluten Free Homemade Muesli Recipe

Gluten Free Muesli

I’ve started to eat a low gluten diet as well as low sugar diet recently for various reasons. I’m having to cook for someone who has a low gluten tolerance so it makes sense to cook the same things for both of us, and I don’t really eat much gluten either, so I’m killing two birds with one stone.

I wanted to share this really REALLY easy way to make your own gluten free muesli at home, instead of spending big bucks on the stuff from the supermarket. It always amazes me how expensive these things are, when they really don’t have to be.

All you need to make some gluten free muesli are a few basics;

Ingredients

  • gluten free oats (these aren’t much more expensive than normal oats if you buy from the right places. Try your local health food store or sometimes supermarkets can have it on offer)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Method

I always keep a good mix of nuts and seeds in my store cupboard because I use them for all sorts of cooking, breakfasts, salads, in sauces… etc! So i’d always recommend you buy a larger stack as they are cheaper and you can use them in all your cooking, ensuring you’re getting a good balance of micro nutrients.

So how do you make gluten free muesli?

On a baking tray spread out 2 large handfuls of gluten free oats, 1 handful of pecan nuts and 1 table spoon of pumpkin seeds.

Set your oven to 180oC and bake your oats for 15 minutes or until golden.

Allow to cool and store in a large, air tight jar and this breakfast cereal will last for a while!

For more food inspiration, follow me on twitter and instagram :)

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Chia Pudding Recipe

IMG_7945

Chia Pudding Recipe     IMG_7952

Chia Pudding Recipe

This chia pudding recipe is a brilliant recipe for people with busy lifestyles! It’s really easy to make, super nutritious and takes less than ten minutes to make… and you all know how I love my quick recipes which take minimum effort! Anything to make my life easier!

If you’re not on the chia train quite yet, here’s a few reasons why you should hop on to destination healthiness…

They’re really rich in protein so just like eggs, when you eat them for breakfast, they keep you feeling fuller for longer. These little pots keep my cravings at bay until lunch time.

They’re also high in fibre, manganese, magnesium and phospohorus, all of which are essential for the nerves and bones, and low magnesium levels are known to cause migraines. So ladies, get topping up!

Chia seeds are also high in antioxidents protecting the body from nasty free radicals which can damage cells.

They’re high in Omega-3 (also found in oily fish and essential for brain health)

They’re all-rounders, high in most micro and macro nutrients in some form or another and very easy to work into your diet.

I’m sure you don’t need more reasons to make this chia pudding recipe but just one more for good measure… it tastes awesome!

Ingredients (makes 6 breakfast pots)

  • 500ml organic milk or coconut milk
  • 2 bananas
  • 80g Chia seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Blueberries
  • Pecan nuts

Method

In a blender mix your milk and bananas until the bananas are fully disintegrated. Slowly stir in the chia seeds and the cinnamon constantly stirring so the mixture is even and all the seeds don’t sink to the bottom!

Cover over with cling film or tin foil and place in the fridge over night. It will take 10 hours or so to fully soak up and the end result is similar to cold rice pudding.

Spoon the mixture into separate breakfast pots and add some pecans and blueberries to the top. These can be left in the fridge for 5 days or so, so it’s much easier to make in bulk for the week :)

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Slow Cooked Beef with Roast Tomato Jus

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IMG_7928

Slow Cooked Beef with Roast Tomato Jus

Everyone that knows me knows I love a bargain! I love shopping in the reduced sections, rummaging through to find the best deals and saving money wherever I can (mainly so I can spend it on things like shoes and handbags…)

I was rummaging in the bargain section at Morrisons the other day and came across a silverside beef cut. I’ve never cooked it before but for £3.29 I thought I’d give it a go! It would make a cheap roast!

That was last week and I’ve had it in the freezer since then, but I finally got round to cooking it the other day, and I can’t believe how lovely it was, for such minimum effort! I wasn’t 100% sure what to do with it at first, but I had some tomatoes that had seen better days in the fridge so thought I’d put the two together to create Slow Cooked Beef with Roast Tomato Jus.

It was really easy to cook, and provided a fully nutritious meal for just a few £ per head. I ended up serving it with some purple sprouting broccoli I found on offer and some sweet potato… The whole meal which served two came to just £5.

To cook the Slow Cooked Beef with Roast Tomato Jus , I turned the slow cooker on to the low setting. I was preparing this at lunch time to eat for dinner, so the low setting was perfect. It would take 6-7 hours. Place on a medium if you have 4-5 hours, or a high for a couple of hours. But my best tip would be cook it for as long and slowly as possible!

Rub the meat in olive oil and black pepper. Place fat side down in the slow cooker, with a little extra oil for the cooker. Place in some cherry tomatoes and put the lid on the slow cooker. Now the easy bit – leave it for 6-7 hours.

That’s really all there is to it. Take it out the slow cooker when it’s had its time and serve with vegetables of your choosing, but remember, don’t throw away the jus left in the bottom of the slow cooker, use it to moisten your meat! Enjoy with a little sea salt or Himalayan salt… ta dah!

So next time you’re in the supermarket and you stumble across a piece of meat that you aren’t sure how to cook, my top tip would be whatever it is, try it in the slow cooker!

Find me on twitter for all the latest food inspiration!

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The Lifestyle Blog, Something To Drink

Turmeric Tea

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turmeric tea   IMG_7844

Turmeric Tea

You may know turmeric as that spice that adds bright orange colour to your curry. But it’s not just a spice used in Asian cooking. This spice boasts SO many reasons to be using it in cuisine that we just can’t ignore it any longer. It’s also not overly powerful in flavour which means adding it to something like a herbal tea does a lot of good for your health, but isn’t overly potent on your taste buds!

Turmeric is high in manganese and iron, two essential minerals for the body to maintain a healthy balance. Manganese isn’t present in many things but is essential for the bodies health – many people don’t get enough of this and a lack of manganese isn’t good for the body, as it is used to heal wounds, balance enzymes within the body and is essential for nutrients absorption too.

Turmeric also has lots of proven health benefits, including; anti-inflammatory properties, rheumatoid arthritis relief, cancer prevention, promotes healthy liver function and lowers cholesterol. I could go on, but we’d be here all day!

Convinced about putting some turmeric in your tea? Yeah… we thought so!

Ingredients per mug

  • Boiling Water
  • 1/6 lemon wedge
  • Tea bag
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • Grated ginger

Just put all the ingredients in a tea pot (or, as I’ve not got one of those in my new house, a heat proof measuring jug!) Leave to brew for 3-4 minutes and then serve!

If it’s warm outside, why not leave the tea to cool and serve over ice as an iced tea?

For more healthy-living inspiration, make sure you’re following on Twitter and Instagram :)

What’s your favourite herbal tea?

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Eggs, Asparagus and Avocado

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ten minute breakfast recipe IMG_7861

Eggs, Asparagus and Avocado

It’s a complete myth that to eat a nutritional meal you need to spend hours preparing, making and cleaning up afterwards. It couldn’t be further from the truth. Think about it, how long does it take to actually cook fresh fruit or vegetables in comparison to microwave food or ready meals. It actually takes around the same amount of time, but the difference is you actually have to do something to cook from scratch in those ten minutes or so, not just stick it in, wait and watch tv whilst an appliance does all the work.

This ten minute Eggs, Asparagus and Avocado is not only nutritious but really easy – anyone can do it… I promise!

It uses 3 main ingredients and all things you can usually get at your local small store. Eggs, asparagus and avocado.

So how can you make the ten minute breakfast recipe ?

Set your timer… here we go!

Heat the oven to 180oC. Take your asparagus and place on a baking tray. Drizzle in olive oil, salt and pepper. Place them in the oven and set the timer for 5 minutes.

Crack your eggs in a pan over a low heat. Add a knob of butter and whisk. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon so the eggs don’t stick to the pan!

Half your avocado and take out the stone. Once your asparagus have had 5 minutes, add the avocado to the baking tray and cook both for another 5 minutes.

Keep stirring your eggs. Once they’ve started to cling together and all the moisture has left, your scrambled eggs are complete. Just add a touch of pepper!

Take our your asparagus and avocado and serve as shown. Stop the clock! That’s a ten minute breakfast recipe right there! Enjoy

For more breakfast inspiration, check out the food blog and follow me on Twitter!

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Being Self Sufficient in my First Home

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Being Self Sufficient in my First Home

Being Self Sufficient in my First Home Being Self Sufficient in my First Home Being Self Sufficient in my First Home Being Self Sufficient in my First Home Being Self Sufficient in my First Home

Being Self Sufficient in my First Home

26th April 

I’m not green fingered… at all! My parents have always had an allotment and been very self-sufficient for as long as I can remember. For years growing up I sniggered when they asked if I was going to help with the harvest at the allotment, and now I’m completely eating my hat, because I need their help!

Because I love my veg and home cooking so much, I wanted to build my own little veggie patch and herb garden in my house and start being self sufficient in my new home. I’m lucky in that my first house has got a lovely sized garden and enough room for two vegetable patches and lots of herb pots on on balcony and patio areas. So at the weekend I headed to the local garden centre and thought I’d get things started now that it’s the time of year to be gardening.

Every time I go to the supermarket I buy lots of fresh herbs because I use them so much in cooking. They probably come to £5 per week on fresh herbs (garlic, coriander, parsley, ginger, lemongrass…) so I thought if I had my own little garden where I could cultivate this stuff, it would save me a fortune! I only bought one planters worth to start me off with the aim to get some more next week when I’ve sorted a little more of the garden out. I bought some French lavender, English lavender, parsley, rosemary, and two cuttings from my parents herb garden – curry plant and lemon balm. I’ve no idea whether they’ll take, but we will soon find out!

I’ve also started my vegetables off in a little greenhouse thing I bought. Technical, I know! I’m not sure exactly how they’ll turn out, and once the seeds have started to sprout I’ll be moving them in to my veg patch which I’m digging out today. But what I’ve discovered is that if you don’t try, you won’t know, and you won’t improve. Seeds aren’t expensive and I bought a little starter pack for £5. The little greenhouse was £12 and the seed tray just £3 for 5 sets… so the most I will lose is £20 on having a go. I’ve got onions, carrots, shallots, garlic, artichokes and spring onions for my first havest… wish me luck!

I’ll keep you posted on my progress on here and Twitter and Instagram, so give me a follow.

Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter too :)

Update 7th May

being self sufficient IMG_8103 IMG_8104

I’m doing it, I’m being self sufficient!

My onions are growing! I can’t believe it, I’m actually managing to grow something! As already stated I’ve started the  onions off in my grow house but I think they’re nearly ready to be moved to their big planters where they will stay until they’re ready. Eek, I can’t wait!

The carrots and garlic aren’t sprouting yet but they are not in the grow house… I’ll keep you posted on those, but so far, and after only 11 days, I’m very happy with my first harvest!

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Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

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stand up paddleboarding in the dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

stand up paddleboarding in the dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

stand up paddleboarding in the dark

stand up paddleboarding in the dark

Stand Up Paddleboarding in the Dark

For Earth Day 2016 we wanted to do something different. Having enjoyed a few SUP yoga sessions last year in Nottingham, I devised the perfect plan to celebrate the special day… so I booked myself and my partner Mat onto one of Cassie’s SUP Full Moon paddles. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect having only done the yoga sessions before, but there was no need to fret. All I needed was myself, some warm fitness clothes and a sense of adventure.

I’ve never been Stand Up Paddleboarding in the dark before. I was really looking forward to something different.

We arrived at Colwick Park for around 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Cassie had already sorted all the boards and kit before-hand and was ready to greet everyone with a smile and a hug! We waited for the rest of the group to arrive, a mixture of complete beginners to more advanced SUP’ers and all stood around for a quick tutorial and group photo. Then it was time to get on the water!

I volunteered myself to get on the water first because I thought it would give me more time to practice after being a little rusty, before more people got on the water. There was around 10 people in the group so the group numbers are small enough to get almost one-to-one tuition but not too small that it can get a bit awkward. Perfect for me really!

Anyway, so we headed on the water, I practised my strokes (which definitely need more practice before my canoeist mates pipe up!), and my J stroke definitely does need work, but you know what? It doesn’t matter. As soon as you get on the water, all you want to do is chill out and enjoy nature.

The sun began to go down about an hour into the session. We set our board anchors in the water and sat around waiting for the sun to go down. Then, we cracked open the prosecco and had a beautiful social gathering on the water with a little alcohol, a lot of laughs and a calming atmosphere. Once we’d all finished our drinks, we did some SUP yoga. Yoga, in the dark, on a board in the middle of a lake, with the stars glowing and a full moon beaming down… THIS was the perfect way to spend a Friday night.

We ended the session with a little paddle around before heading back to the shore. 2 hours on the water soaking up everything mother nature has to offer on Earth Day 2016. Does life get any better than stand up paddleboarding in the dark?

For more information about the SUP sessions in Nottingham, visit the SUP Yoga and Fitness UK website by clicking here.

I made a little video diary of my time on the water, which can be viewed below! Enjoy!

You are reading stand up paddleboarding in the dark

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Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail

Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail

Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail

This Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail recipe is not only non-alcoholic, it’s also really REALLY low in sugar and is only 3 ingredients really! It’s great for those that are driving or just don’t fancy having a drink, and goes really well with a BBQ or afternoon al fresco lunch.

Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail 

The amount you need to make will obviously depend upon the size of your glass. Here, I have used a 500ml glass but you can use larger, or you could make a whole bucket load of the stuff to serve as a non-alcoholic punch!

Ingredients

  • 300ml boiling water
  • 200ml cold water
  • ice cubes
  • wedge lemon
  • 3 sprigs fresh mint
  • teabag

Method

Boil the kettle and pour 300ml boiling water into a heat-proof container. Add the teabag for 2 minutes and stir. Squeeze out once finished.

Add the 200ml cold water to the boiling water. Allow time for the tea to reach room temperature. This usually takes 15 minutes or so.

In a pestle and mortar, crush your mint leaves lightly to release the scent and flavour. Place your ice cubes, mint and lemon in your serving glass or punch bowl.

Once the tea is at room temperature, pour over the ice, mint and lemon.

And that’s it, now for the full part, to enjoy your Long Island Iced Tea Mocktail ! Serve with a straw and enjoy with a finger-licking BBQ or civilised al fresco lunch!

You can also try this with green tea, herbal tea, or why not make this tea and turn it into a nice iced-tea mocktail?

In the next few weeks I will be re-creating some of your favourite cocktails now we are getting towards summer, but sharing my tips in how to lower the sugar content of them. So stay tuned for that and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You will find a sign up sheet on the homepage.

You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

 

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Bluebell Woods in Derbyshire and Hardwick Hall | Travel

Introducing (1)

Introducing (1)

Bluebell woods in Derbyshire Bluebell woods in Derbyshire Bluebell woods in Derbyshire Bluebell woods in Derbyshire DSCF7185-min DSCF7187-min DSCF7193-min DSCF7196-min DSCF7197-min DSCF7198-min DSCF7199-min DSCF7206-min DSCF7207-min DSCF7208-min DSCF7218-min DSCF7226-min DSCF7228-min

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Hardwick Hall and Bluebell Woods in Derbyshire

Mid-April is usually around the time when the bluebells spring up like beautifully-laid woodland carpets, washing the forest floor with lilac and indigo shades under the dark green canopy. Living so close to Hardwick Hall (about 2 miles away) means I’m spoilt by beautiful countryside and rolling hills. Forests aplenty too, which means come April/May, the bluebells bloom and turn some of my favourite local walks into tranquil purple havens.

Sunday morning we woke up to beautiful blue skies and thought there was no better day than today to go hunting for Bluebell Woods in Derbyshire.

Parking at the bottom of the hall, we walked up the steep hill towards the restaurant and visitors centre and took a right before reaching them. This takes you through a cattle field and up into the woods. Alternatively, you can park by the hall and you’re pretty much straight into the woods.

Hardwick Woods or Lady Spencer Woods as they are officially called, are set in the shadow of the new Hall. Unfortunately for us, we were a week or so too early to see the carpet of bluebells which usually descends upon this woods in late April, but there were still plenty out and enough to make you feel like spring is here. Walking through the woods you will also find a “50 Things To Do Before You’re 11 and 3/4” challenge, set by the National Trust. It’s one of their fantastic promotions to get kids (and adults!) more interested in the places the National Trust looks after, and they are BRILLIANT. We had a go on the little assault cause (it was 8.30am so there were no children about), climbed to big tree, had a go on the swing, hid in the dens… we had more fun than the children would!

We think we’re going to go back to the bluebells woods in a couple of weeks time as it’s just on the doorstep. We had a fantastic morning and best of all, it didn’t cost a penny!

Bluebells from: Mid April – June

 

Where’s your favourite Bluebell Woods in Derbyshire? There’s so many to choose from!

Follow me on twitter, instagram or facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to my mailing list! And id you want another walk idea in the Derbyshire/Nottinghamshire area, why not try this one?

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Too Busy For Breakfast? | Food

too busy for breakfast

 too busy for breakfast

Too Busy For Breakfast? Too busy for breakfast too busy for breakfast DSCF7150

Too busy for breakfast?

If you’re too busy for breakfast then this post is totally for you! Hopefully it will give you the inspiration you need to get back on the wagon and embrace breakfast.

I’m not a breakfast person at all, as I’ve mentioned several times in this blog. I’d much rather spend that extra 15 minutes in bed than get up and cook something for breakfast. So a lot of the time I keep nuts and seeds in my work draw so I can nibble through the morning until lunch. That however, makes me quite hungry by lunch time and means I sometimes go on a binge…

So, I came up with these little pot ideas to make sure I have something for breakfast every day! Meaning I’m not longer too busy for breakfast.

To make these pots I’d recommend a few simple things;

  • A glass cup (ideally that fits in your car cup holder to make transportation easy if you take it to work or eat it in the car)
  • 2-3 tablespoons of rolled oats per cup
  • 2 tablespoons of greek yoghurt per cup
  • Mix of fruit – here I’ve got a little mango and blueberries but other great combos include strawberry and kiwi, raspberry, apple and banana… the list goes on. Why not try a new flavour every day?
  • Sprinkles – I’ve used chia seeds here but why not try cinnamon and/or grated dark chocolate too

These pots can be changed to suit your tastes. They’re quick, easy and you can make enough for a few days and keep them in the fridge until you need them.

What flavours are you going to try? Let me know! Join the subscription list and follow me on twitter, facebook and instagram.

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August 17, 2016
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The Food Blog, The Lifestyle Blog, Featured News

Foods Low In Sugar

what-can-i-eat-on-a-low-sugar-diet

I’m constantly being asked about what you can eat on a low sugar diet. So to answer that question, I’ve compiled a list of things you can and can’t eat. It is not  a fully comprehensive list because otherwise we’d be here all day, but I’m hoping that it will give you enough guidance to be able to make decisions for yourself, and compile a meal plan from.

Foods Low In Sugar

What Can You Eat On A Low Sugar Diet?

So, here we go, what can you eat on a low sugar diet? I’ve split up all the food items into simple categories to make them easily identifiable.

The easiest, simplest way to think about the low sugar diet, is to simply cook from scratch. You need to change your whole mind set. Forget about shopping in the freezer isles at the supermarket. All you need are the meat isles, vegetable and fruit isles and wholefoods section. If you only ever shop on those isles, you won’t go far wrong.

TIP: If you absolutely HAVE to eat any type of packeted food, check the label. If you look at the ‘per 100g’ and look at the ‘Carbohydrates of which sugar,’ the item is relatively low in sugar if that number is less than 5 (which works out at less than 5% per 100g). 

Protein

  • Meat (unprocessed, organic beef, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb…etc) All meat should be unprocessed – no burgers, sausages, etc
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Yoghurt
  • Nuts and seeds (not-salted, plain)

Cereal

  • Rolled oats
  • Natural Muesli
  • Porridge oats

Staple Carbohydrates

  • Wholewheat pasta
  • New potatoes
  • Wholewheat spaghetti
  • Brown Rice
  • Buckwheat
  • Pearl Barley
  • Sweet potato
  • Quinoa (technically not  a carb but a protein)
  • Oatmeal crackers

Legumes

  • Kidney Beans
  • Butter Beans
  • Chick Peas
  • Lentils
  • Pinto Beans
  • Blackeyed Beans
  • Yellow Split Peas

Vegetables

You’re pretty much OK with all vegetables on a low sugar diet, but limit the amount of white potato. New potatoes and sweet potatoes are ok and low in starchy sugars. However white potatoes like King Edwards and Maris Piper should only be eaten in moderation. Pumpkin, parnsips and beetroot are also quite starchy but don’t cut them out of your diet. As long as you’re eating them as part of a mixed diet full of a variety of fruit and vegetables, they are perfectly fine to be eating. And they taste great!

Bread

  • Wholegrain pumpernickel
  • Whole wheat
  • Sourdough wheat
  • Sourdough rye

Snacks

  • Nuts and seeds (natural, unflavoured/unsalted)
  • Organic cocoa powder (ideal for homemade hot chocolates!)
  • Hummus
  • Nachos/Corn Chips
  • Oatmeal crackers

Fruits

Again like vegetables, fruits should be eaten as part of a varied, nutritious diet. However, because fruit can be high in sugar it’s best to eat in moderation. Ensure you eat more vegetables than fruit (for example, 5 vegetables to 2 fruits per day) but don’t cut it out all together because fruit is a great source of many essential vitamins and minerals. Do however AVOID fruit juices and smoothies. Taking the fibre out of fruit makes them super high in fructose (sugar) which moves too fast through the body. This isn’t good when we’re talking about foods low in sugar. Where fruit is eaten, the WHOLE fruit should be eaten, not just the juice!

Drinks/Alcohol

  • Red wine
  • Beer (Bitter)
  • Tea (Black and Green)
  • Coffee
  • Coconut Milk
  • Organic Milk
  • Water

What can you eat on a low sugar diet

It’s best to avoid most alcohol if you want to lead a low sugar diet. If I drink I only drink red wine and in moderation – a small glass with a meal, etc. Most alcohol is high in sugar and has little nutritional value. Even spirits usually turn out to be high in sugar as they’re mostly drunk with a mixer. I like to make my own ‘iced teas’ for a treat, take a tea bag, make a normal tea, cool it and add some crushed mint, ice and lemon. It’s quite sweet tasting!

And that’s that, a comprehensive list of foods low in sugar.

Still confused about what can you eat on a low sugar diet or want more foods low in sugar? Or want to know about a specific item? Just comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Thanks for reading. Please sign up to my mailing list for all the latest recipes and healthy lifestyle inspiration.

You can also find me on twitter, facebook and instagram too!

Becky :)

What Can You Eat On A Low Sugar Diet?

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10 Ways to Make Friends in a New Office | Lifestyle

Introducing (6)
10 ways to make friends in a new office
I work in a medium sized office, there’s around 100 people milling about daily. Remembering everyone’s name is a nightmare, let alone what people do! But, that doesn’t matter. I firmly believe that there are ten simple ways you can spread office kindness and make new friends in a new office, without having to go over the top about it all.
Below are my top ten tips on how to do this! Being kind and having manners costs nothing but can have a massive impact on the people around you… All the below tips are really easy to carry out, so why not pick one and embrace a new ‘thing’ every week. You’ll be surprised at how fast it catches on.

Continue reading…

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Searching for the Elusive Loris | Travel

searching for the elusive loris

searching for the elusive loris

Searching for the Elusive Loris

During out stay in Sri Lanka, we purposefully stayed at Jetwing’s Vil Uyana to be close to nature. To experience the wildlife delights of the beautiful Sri Lankan countryside was a treat in itself, with the beautiful array of colourful birds filling the sky daily. But the birds and creepy crawlies wasn’t the only reason we chose to stay in this particularly beautiful stop in Sri Lanka… we wanted to take part in one of the rare opportunities this particular spot offered… night walking for Loris!

The Grey Slender Loris to be exact, is a distinct primate only found in small cluthes of Southern India and Sri Lanka. Vil Uyana where we stayed is one of the best places in the world to witness this elusive, elf like creature, and we had the best guide in Chaminda (the Jetwing resident Naturalist) too!

Searching for the elusive Loris began at 6.30pm by the hotel reception. We met Chaminda the Naturalist and another older English couple who were joining us on our walk. We were passed a head torch with a red lamp as Chaminda spoke softly of the Loris, about what to do, what to expect and how to observe the Loris in their natural habitat. These little primates are his passion and I must admit, the enthusiasm is infectious.

As the sun began to descend below the natural skyline, the orchestra of insects and amphibians crescendo’d into their usual dusk chorus. They got louder and louder the further into the resort we got, at times deafening us with their clashing sounds. We turned our head lamps on and entered the dense forest by the conservation trail. Nervous and excited about what could potentially happen next. Trying not to look at the floor in too much detail as I wasn’t sure I wanted to see the insects that lurked below.

We trekked along the forest track for around half an hour, jumping at every noise or moving shadow, anxious about what exactly we might stumble across… especially when the notice in our room read ‘there are 3 types of highly venomous snakes on the property…’ errrr!! The images of Steve Irwin Crocodile Diaries and Deadly 60 are never far from your mind in a place like this. Especially when you’re from a country where the most dangerous animal you’re likely to come across on a daily basis is the humble bumble bee…

Continue reading…

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Painting for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Art

painting for mental health and wellbeing

painting for mental health and wellbeing

Painting for Mental Health and Wellbeing

 

Painting for Mental Health and Wellbeing

I have painted from a young age and it’s always been just for a bit of fun or something to do because living in the Derbyshire countryside, as lovely as it is, doesn’t always offer much for the younger generations. There’s the option to walk, play in fields or chill at the park unless you’re lucky enough to have parents committed enough to take you places and introduce you to new things (luckily, I did).

I used to paint through school, took it to A level standard and would have loved to of taken it that bit further but life got in the way, I completed my Law degree, started working full time and that was that. It wasn’t until recently (I’m now 24), that I started to pick up my paint brushes again. I hadn’t had a break from painting for any reason other than not having time and now I’m settled back in my own house I finally have the time, inspiration and room to start painting properly again.

Since I have started painting again, I’ve noticed my style has changed. I used to love painting landscapes and shy away from people and animals. Now I’m completely the opposite. I’ve started getting a lot of pet commissions come in and I’m loving concentrating on intricacies and something completely not linked to every day life. It’s absolute escapism.

Continue reading…

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The Best Avocado Spread Recipe

best avocado spread recipe

best avocado spread recipe

Best Avocado Spread Recipe

I’ll hold my hands up high and be the first to admit when avocado on toast first entered my social circles, I turned my nose up in disgust. Afterall, most things we place on our toast tend to be sweet and sickly, so who was this foreign body taking over our morning breakfast routine and making us feel bad about that homemade strawberry jam or nutella treat!?

It didn’t take me long however, to take this newbie under my wing and adopt it like it had always been part of the morning breakfast family. What’s not to love? It tastes great AND is good for you too which means less feeling guilty and more time to feel free! You won’t have to work this off for long in the gym later in the evening.

If you want the Best Avocado Spread Recipe around, then you’ve come to the right place! With this recipe you’ll learn to love avocado spread just as much as that peanut butter you always reach for…

Ingredients

To make the best avocado spread recipe you just need 5 ingredients which you should already have in your cupboard;

  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 1 garlic clove
  • pinch salt

Method

The recipe will take you around 5 minutes to make. Which is about the amount of time your toast will take. So…

Peel your avocado, remove the stone, cut into chunks and add to a bowl. Take a potato masher or hand blender and mash or blend until you have a spread like consistency. Because avocados are soft, it doesn’t really matter if there’s chunks in it because they’re soft anyway so they spread easily with a knife.

Crush your clove of garlic and chop into fine pieces. Add this into your avocado mix.

Then, add your olive oil, salt and chilli. Mash or mix until they’re all blended together. By this time, your toast should be done. Take your toast and spread your lovely fresh spread over the bread. Perfect breakfast or lunchtime snack that’s quick, easy to make and very good for you! For the ultimate health kick, serve with sourdough bread.

This recipe should make enough spread for 4 slices of toast. If that’s too much for you, simply pop in a tupperware and place in the fridge. You can keep it fresh in there for up to a week.

If you try the recipe, make sure you let me know how it goes. I’m on twitter, facebook and instagram... you can also find more awesome recipes by clicking here!

best avocado spread recipe

best avocado spread recipe

 

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The Travel Blog

Climbing Sigiriya Rock, Sri Lanka | Travel

climbing sigiriya rock

climbing sigiriya rock

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Climbing Sigiriya Rock

You are reading Climbing Sigiriya Rock

The morning began at 6:45am when we had to meet Charminda, our Jetwing Naturalist guide, at the resort reception. For today, we climbed mighty Sigiriya Rock!

Sigiriya rock was built in 495CE; it was taken over by Buddhist monks in the 14th Century.

We got to Sigiriya for around 7am when the grounds opened and we met another guide who would walk with us up Sigiriya Rock to ensure we got the best possible experience and the most information out the trip as we possibly could. The guide spoke of the folk law connections, historical facts and how after the King, Buddhist monks had taken over the outer rock to use the area as a Holy temple.

The rock had many gardens, it wasn’t just simply a fortress. It was almost like a little village within the shadow of the mighty rock. It reminded me very much of a medieval castle but in a very different culture. The fortress was, however, built originally for similar reasons that the medieval castles were… protection.#

You are reading Climbing Sigiriya Rock

The rock fortress also had very many caves, historical paintings, markings and writings too. The Mirror Wall, a 77m long plaster wall glazed in egg whites among other things provided a fantastic insight into technology of the day. 500 women lived in the fortress, as the King had once insisted. The mirror, along with all his paintings of women within the caves, were artistic decorations of the time and the wall still provides a mirror effect today… thousands of years on! And when the midday sun rises to hit the wall you can still see your reflection, as clear as day! When it was first built it must have been even more incredible, stretching the length of the fortress and providing entertainment for the King and his Queen as they were carried up the rock to their palace.

One of my favourite features of the rock however, was the ‘curtain’ technology installed there. Our guide pointed out carved ledges in the rock and told of how it was a drainage system used so that when it was the rainy season and the monsoons hit, the water would fall like a curtain over the rock, keeping the caves underneath dry, rather than running down the whole rock and ruining the intricate painted caves. I’d imagine it also makes the rock look very pretty when a curtain of water falls over it! Unfortunately we didn’t get to see it in the rain to find out, but we were assured it looks a spectacle.

There are 1,202 steep steps up to the top of Sigiriya Rock – some made of marble, others replaced with new metal steps where they’ve been worn out. It’s a good job we climbed at 7am (and I’d recommend others to do it as early as possible to avoid queues and heat!!), because otherwise we’d have really struggled in the heat. We made it to the top in about an hour after stopping with the guide to take in all the sights and historical references, and also examine all the artwork and caves.

Once we got to the top, the panoramic views were INCREDIBLE.  You could see for miles! Our guide took some awesome photographs of us jumping on top of the rock and messing about on the 1,202th step. On top of the rock you can see remains of the throne, the King’s ‘nightclub’ which, according to the guide was like today’s karaoke bars (although I’m not convinced he’ll have been to a UK karaoke bar… he might be in for a shock!). There was also a swimming pool as well as many other remains on top of the rock.

Once you’re at the top, the only way back down is the way you came… so back down the 1,202 steps we went! The steps back down were difficult on foot and you really had to concentrate on what you were doing. Especially me, I’m a clumsy one! It took us around 30 minutes to descend but it took my thighs about 2 days to recover… what a workout!

Sigiriya is one of those places you just have to visit if you’re in Sri Lanka. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Sight and affectionately labelled the 8th Wonder of the World…

For me? It was a memorable experience with unrivalled views and enough culture and history to keep a culture vulture geek like myself babbling on for years… so if you get the chance to visit this beautiful sight, please don’t miss the opportunity, but do make sure you visit as early in the morning as possible!

For all the latest, make sure you’ve bookmarked this blog, and you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!

 

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The Travel Blog

Vil Uyana, Sri Lanka Review | Travel

sherwood pines

vil uyana sri lanka

Vil Uyana, Sri Lanka Review   Vil Uyana, Sri Lanka Review

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Vil Uyana, Sri Lanka Review | Travel

Vil Uyana, Jetwing Resort

Vil Uyana is an eco-resort in the middle of Sri Lanka’s dry zone, near UNESCO World Heritage site, labelled the 8th wonder of the world, Sigiriya rock. The resort, built by Jetwing, is an eco-resort comprising of 36 eco-villas on 24 acres of old marsh and paddy fields. Jetwing built the whole resort around sustainable tourism and the whole project is a community project, with Jetwing employing many of the local people, teaching them English and teaching them skills for life in the hospitality sector.

My partner and I stayed at Jetwing’s Vil Uyana resort for 10 nights in March 2016. We didn’t want to come home…

It’s hands down one of the most luxurious and yet simple places I’ve ever stayed and that combinations makes it both endearing and inspiring. If you could buy villas here, I think it would definitely be on my top ‘lottery win list!’

I’d challenge anyone to find anywhere with more attentive and hospitable staff. From the moment we arrived at 8pm after around 24 hours travelling, we were greeted with beaming smiles and a gentle ‘Ayubowan’ (translating as Long Life), homemade juices and iced-teas and beautifully smelling cool towels. After a very hectic few days it was like walking into heaven. We were instantly relaxed and peaceful, and it set the tone perfectly for the rest of our stay.

Most people will stop at Vil Uyana, Sigiriya for 2-3 days on their tour of Sri Lanka, but as I’d been to Sri Lanka before in 2006 and done most of the top sights, I wanted somewhere I could relax but also enjoy this beautiful country. One of the places I didn’t visit back in 2006 was Sigiriya, due to the Tamil troubles still ongoing at that time, so it was on my list. Vil Uyana sits under the shadow of this awe-inspiring fortress which makes it the perfect place for exploring this part of the country. It’s also close to many National Parks (great for Elephants, Sloth Bears and more), and Vil Uyana has one of the only conservation areas for the illusive slender loris (bush baby type primates) on the island. Read about that more in a later post!

So overall, I couldn’t recommend this place highly enough. Below, I’ll go into a little more detail about the Villas, the Animals and THE FOOD (it was DIVINE!)

Continue reading…

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April 7, 2016
The Food Blog, Something Quick, Something Posh, Something For Breakfast

Griddled Asparagus and Parma Ham

Griddled Asparagus and Parma Ham

Griddled Asparagus and Parma HamGriddled asparagus and parma ham is the perfect salad type recipe for when you’ve not got a lot of time to prepare or cook your food. The whole dish takes no more than 15 minutes to prepare and cook, and even less time to eat! You’ll scoff this one down.. salads never tasted so good…

Griddled Asparagus and Parma Ham

Asparagus is very much one of those vegetables that people either love, or hate. Of course, me being the veggie lover than I am, I LOVE it!

Why do I love it though? It’s not just the taste which is nutty and crunchy, it’s also a vegetable that’s extremely good for you. Asparagus is really high in vitamin K which is an essential vitamin. Vitamin K helps keep your bones healthy and also helps your blood to clot, meaning it’s a vitamin you really should be working into your diet for optimum health. Asparagus is also really high in folate (or folic acid) and copper (one of those anti-aging minerals!)

Griddled asparagus and parma ham is a fantastic dish for when you just don’t have much time to cook. It will take you no more than 15 minutes or so to prepare and cook, so there’s really no excuse to grab something quick to go!

Ingredients (Serves 1)

  • Bunch asparagus
  • 3 strips parma ham
  • 1/4 lemon
  • fresh parmesan cheese
  • homemade hollandaise sauce

Method

In a griddle pan, heat a little oil and add your asparagus. Make sure you’ve trimmed the ends of the asparagus before you cook it – they don’t taste very nice!

Griddle your asparagus until it’s golden and slightly charred. This should take around 5-10 minutes on a medium heat hob. Before you finish, squeeze the lemon juice over the asparagus and allow it to infuse.

Place your asparagus on a plate. Lay the parma ham on top. Grate your parmesan cheese over the top and top the whole lot with a nice glug of homemade hollandaise sauce (click here to get the recipe!)… finish with a drizzle with olive oil.

And THAT, is how you make the perfect griddled asparagus dish!

 

 

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Homemade Hollandaise Sauce
February 18, 2016
The Food Blog

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

homemade hollandaise sauce

This low sugar homemade hollandaise sauce is an absolute treat! Use for eggs benedict, asparagus dressing or why not try it as a side dip for a chicken dish?
homemade hollandaise sauce

Homemade Hollandaise Sauce

This homemade hollandaise sauce is made with only a handful of ingredients and it’s so simple that there’s really no need to buy hollandaise sauce from the shop ever again. Especially not with all the added preservatives! My top tip would be to make enough to fill an old hollandaise jar full and just keep it in the fridge. It will last for a few weeks so there’s no need to just make enough for one meal unless you fancy making it every time of course!

So, what makes this hollandaise sauce low sugar, I hear you cry!

Well because we’re not making hollandaise to sit on a shelf for weeks or months on end, we don’t need to add preservatives. Often, sugar is used as a preservative so if you look at a jar of hollandaise sauce, you’ll often see that it does actually contain quite a lot of sugar. Well because we’re just using fresh ingredients, that gets rid of the need to add sugar at all. Because hollandaise sauce is made out of just eggs, butter, lemon juice, vinegar and chilli powder, there’s absolutely no sugar in it at all. And it tastes SO MUCH BETTER than the shop bought stuff too!

Right, let’s get started! For this recipe you’ll need a whisk, two pans, measuring jug, kitchen scales and a heat proof bowl too!

Don’t forget to give us a like on facebook and twitter… and you can find further recipes on the blog too. Why not try this simple greek yoghurt dip to keep in the fridge too? Keeping a fridge full of oils and dips makes cooking so much easier as you can quickly jazz up even the most simple dish.

Table: Lovatt Woodwork

Crockery: Denby Pottery

homemade hollandaise sauce
Homemade Hollandaise Sauce
Print Recipe
This low sugar homemade hollandaise sauce is an absolute treat! Use for eggs Benedict, asparagus dressing or why not try it as a side dip for a chicken dish?
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
homemade hollandaise sauce
Homemade Hollandaise Sauce
Print Recipe
This low sugar homemade hollandaise sauce is an absolute treat! Use for eggs Benedict, asparagus dressing or why not try it as a side dip for a chicken dish?
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
2 people 10 minutes
Cook Time
5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Take your two eggs. Crack them. Separate the egg yolk from the white. I do this by cracking the egg, and catching the egg yolk as it comes out and using my hands as a sieve, but there are other ways including using the egg shell as a separating tool.
  2. Once you've separated your eggs, take the egg yolk and lightly whisk together.
  3. In a pan, melt your 100g of butter slowly. Once it is melted, add it to your measuring jug ready to pour.
  4. Place a second pan with a little water over the hob until the water simmers. Place your eggs in a heat proof bowl and place over the pan with water (like you'd heat chocolate to melt it).
  5. Turn down the heat slightly on the pan to make sure you don't cook the egg too quickly. Add your lemon juice and whisk the eggs. The trick with this next bit is to keep on whisking and not letting the mixture get too hot! So the lower the heat, the better as you can just cook for longer rather than trying to cook it too quickly.
  6. Slowly add your butter to the eggs and lemon, whisking continuity as you go. Add the butter little by little until the mixture thickens and forms a lovely sauce. Do this as slowly as you like to prevent separating!
  7. Once your mixture starts to look like a sauce, take it off the heat, mix it again and leave it a few minutes to start to cool. At this point, add your apple cider vinegar and chilli powder and stir gently. If you want to sauce a little more runny, you can also add a little olive oil or a little more butter.
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Griddled Asparagus and Parma Ham
February 21, 2016
The Food Blog, Something To Drink

How to Make Hot Chocolate

how to make hot chocolate

how to make hot chocolate

Just a little something for before bed! And as always, the only way is organic!

 

How to make Hot Chocolate

In the bottom of a mug, add 2 tsp of organic cocoa, 1 tsp of organic coconut oil and 1 tsp rice malt syrup.

Mix them all together in the bottom of the mug until they form a thick paste.

Add 2 tbsp of hot water and mix again.

Top up your mug with full fat milk and put it in the microwave for 90 seconds. Take it out and stir thoroughly. Put it back in the microwave for 90 seconds or until hot all the way through.

If you want, use a milk whisk to finish off the hot chocolate before you drink it, just to make it frothy!

And there you have it, an organic, low sugar, homemade hot chocolate that trumps the nasty packeted stuff and blows it out the water 😉

Follow us on facebook and other social media channels for all the latest low sugar alternatives!

 

And don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog for recipes, reviews and general foodspiration.

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