Healthy, low-cost dishes to make you smile

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Pineapple and Ginger Energy Balls

Pineapple and Ginger Energy Balls

Having a naturally sweet energy ball at the ready in your fridge is brilliant if you are trying to cut down on your chocolate and candy intake – by filling up on the good stuff you won’t crave the rubbish! And the great thing about […]

Seed and Fruit Flapjacks

Seed and Fruit Flapjacks

Flapjacks are such a great bake – they can be made with minimal utensils, take minutes to put together and are pretty adaptable to the ingredients you have and like. Made right they can be a nutritional powerhouse but many off-the-shelf versions are packed with […]

Mango and Raspberry Overnight Oats

Mango and Raspberry Overnight Oats

This is an easy way to meal prep your breakfast so you can grab and go or serve up something which looks a bit special on a weekend – but still allows you time for a lay in! These Mango and Raspberry Overnight Oats not only taste like a little bit of sunshine, they will also give you a sustaining and nourishing start to the day. You will have already ticked off two portions of fruit before lunch too.

The chia content in this breakfast give health benefits but not the chia pudding texture some people just don’t like. And by soaking the seeds you make them easier to digest and the nutrients are more readily absorbed and assimilated in your body.

Choose gluten-free oats if you wish and a milk and yoghurt which best works for your diet, non-dairy milks work brilliantly. Personally I find the sweetness of the fruits enough but feel free to drizzle over maple syrup or honey to suit your tastes.

This is a brilliant breakfast to pack up in pots for work and save you time in the morning – and it costs a fraction of what you would spend if you bought one in a coffee shop on the way. In fact each portion comes in at around 40pence, so you can make four for less than the price of one bought out. Quick, easy, cheap and healthy – what are you waiting for!

Mango and Raspberry Overnight Oats

August 25, 2018
: 4
: Easy

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 cup mango pulp (same as a drained tin of mango blitzed)
  • 1 ½ cup milk (of your choice)
  • 1 cups oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 2 cups frozen raspberries
  • 4 heaped teaspoons yoghurt or Skyr
  • A handful of flaked almonds
  • Optional honey or maple syrup
Directions
  • Step 1 Mix the mango pulp, milk, oats and chia in a bowl or mixing jug.
  • Step 2 In 4 glasses or containers divide one cup of frozen raspberries between them.
  • Step 3 Layer over the berries half the oats mixture.
  • Step 4 Layer the remaining cup of berries over the oats.
  • Step 5 Use the rest of the oats to cover the berries and refrigerate for 8hrs or overnight.
  • Step 6 To serve add a dollop of yoghurt or Skyr and some flaked almonds. Drizzle over some maple syrup or honey if you like a sweeter breakfast.

Peach and Mango Coconut Ice

Peach and Mango Coconut Ice

For so many of us Coconut Ice is a taste of childhood. But the fact that traditionally it’s packed with sugar isn’t something many of us want in our diets now. So why not try this healthy, refined sugar free, take on Coconut Ice? It […]

Quick and Easy Courgette Soup (zucchini)

Quick and Easy Courgette Soup (zucchini)

As soup season and courgette’s rarely co-inside I’ve never tried courgette soup.  But faced with a haul of them from a kind friend and the sudden stormy week I’ve been working on a soup which will work now and also keep in the freezer for […]

How to meal prep your freezer

How to meal prep your freezer

Meal prep has gained in popularity in the health and fitness community and it’s no surprise why. Having healthy meals to hand all week means we are more likely to eat well and not end up reaching for a takeaway or fast but unhealthy meal options. Cooking in bulk is also money saving as you buy bigger quantities or foods on offer. Plus making double doesn’t take twice the amount of time once you get going and you will save on fuel costs too.

Some people like to meal prep the same meal for the whole week, which can be necessary if using salad veggies which don’t freeze. But freezing meals means you will eat a greater variety of foods as you can simply grab a meal you made, for example, four weeks ago while making something completely different that week and freezing some portions of those.

I like to cook double of most meals so I have four portions one day for the family and another four for packed lunches or quick dinners later on. It means some busy weeks we can have a homemade meal every night with no need to cook. It also allows me to ‘shop my freezer’ and buy minimal food at the supermarket that week. Another time and stress saver!

The key to becoming one of those meal prep gurus who flood Instagram on a Sunday night with their neatly lined up boxes ready for the fridge or freezer is prep. Yes, meal prep prep! But it is a lot easier than you think.

 

Get your meal prep supplies ready

If you have the right tools you are more likely to make a success of your prep. So have the correct containers and coverings ready. Here’s some suggestions:

Enamel pie dishes in individual or larger sizes for pies so they can go straight in the oven. Cover the tops with foil before freezing.

Pyrex dishes with removable lids for lasagnas, pies, one-pot roasts or foil containers.

Tupperware style boxes for foods which can be microwaved or decanted and pan reheated.

Plastic freezer bags are great for dry items or sauces. In order to keep bags of sauces neat place the bag into a freezable cup and fill with the sauce, tie the top and freeze in the cup. When hard you can pop the bag and sauce out of the cup and in it’s neat form into the freezer – it’s easier to label this way too.

Foil is great for wrapping drier items in portions like portions of baked oats, pancakes, waffles, bread etc.

A silicon ice cube tray is brilliant for freezing small amounts of for example, chopped herbs or puree for babies. Then pop them out and into a ziplock bag for easy access. I always froze fruit and vegetables purees in ice cube trays so I could mix a different combination of foods daily with no hassle for my kids while they were weening.

 

Always label your food

Invest in a permanent marker or some stickers because although you are sure now that when you see that bag of red frozen liquid you will know its tomato soup – it can get confusing! I once defrosted an unmarked box of what I thought was fish pie white sauce – with my mash and fish at the ready – only to discover it was actually pancake batter which looks basically the same when it’s in a lump! Now I use a thin permanent marker on all bags and boxes as after freezing and a round in the dishwasher the marker tends to pretty much rub off anyway.

If you are using foil containers with lids then you can write the contents and even cooking instructions on in biro before freezing. It can also be helpful to add the date you froze the meal.

 

Freeze foods correctly

Part of the joy of meal prep is it’s easy to make a meal – that’s not true if you have to hack lumps off a frozen block of food! So when it comes to freezing make sure you’re savvy about how you do your initial freeze. If you have items which you will need to remain separate like fritters, mini tarts or filled pasta it’s best to freeze them on a baking sheet, not touching before placing them into a bag or box. Then you can just take what you need when you want it without defrosting the whole lot. This is also useful when freezing fruits and vegetables so you can create your own frozen veg/fruit bag! There’s no need to defrost the vegetables before cooking, and use frozen fruit straight from the freezer to make ‘nice-cream’ or amazingly thick smoothies.

 

Make your own ready meals

Where you can it makes sense to both saving space in your freezer and also making life easier, to add whole meals to a container. So if you are prepping a curry, include the rice too. If you don’t have time to add the sides at the time you are ready to freeze don’t panic! Simply freeze say the curry and do a batch of rice the next day. As long as it’s cold when you add it to the frozen curry you can pop it straight back into the freezer.

 

Accept you can’t freeze everything

Sadly there are some things which just don’t freeze well, unwhipped cream, custard, iced cake, cream cheese, and mayonnaise are a terrible texture when they are defrosted so there’s little point attempting to freeze them.

 

Smoky Courgette Stew (zucchini)

Smoky Courgette Stew (zucchini)

In the UK right now, especially after an above average amount of sunshine (yay!) courgettes (zucchinis) and red peppers are plentiful. I have been lucky enough to be gifted some from a friend whose veggie patch is beyond luscious and can’t wait to grow my […]

Apple and Cinnamon Energy Balls

Apple and Cinnamon Energy Balls

If you love apple pie then these Apple and Cinnamon Energy Balls are for you. They take minutes to prepare and are perfect to keep in the fridge or wrap up and pop in your gym bag. These bite size wonders are a nutrition powerhouse […]

Mango and Peach Mousse Stack

Mango and Peach Mousse Stack

I’m excited to have been working with yourzooki.com the past couple of months on some recipes using their incredible fish oil. They approached me after seeing what I was doing with it anyway – it’s a staple in our house because my kids think it’s like sweets! It’s actually sugar free but so delish, like a smoothie and no fishy burps. Bonus. I’ve developed some recipes using all their flavours and will be posting them here (and a version for anyone who doesn’t wish to consume fish). I had never considered mixing the flavours of mango and peach together until I tried the Zooki Fish Oil – but boy does it work as these Mango and Peach Mousse Stacks prove!

This dessert is dinner party worthy but quick and simple enough for everyday. It also contains no sugar, two of your five-a-day and a full adult portion of Zooki if you are using it – which is pretty good going for a yummy treat. And unlike many mousses this doesn’t contain raw eggs or gelatine, which means you can serve them immediately without chilling and it’s suitable for anyone with intolerances.

Tumblers, or martini glasses make great serving dishes for these beautiful mousses as you can see the gorgeous layers. You can always make half size versions for the kids, which would give them their full portion of Zooki for the day too.

Mango and Peach Mousse Stack

July 21, 2018
: 4 large

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 mango, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tin of peaches, drained
  • 300ml double cream
  • 8 teaspoons Zooki Mango and Peach Omega-3 oil or 8 teaspoons of pureed mango
Directions
  • Step 1 Blitz the peaches in a blender until you have a smooth liquid.
  • Step 2 Chop the mango and place 4 teaspoons of the chopped mango to one side.
  • Step 3 Whip the cream with 4 teaspoons of Zooki or mango puree until it’s stiff. When it’s finished stir the remaining 4 teaspoons lightly through the cream so it has a ripple effect, don’t over mix it as you want to see the stripe.
  • Step 4 Place 2 tablespoons of the peach puree in the bottom of your glass. Top with 1 tablespoon of chopped mango then an eighth of the cream mix.
  • Step 5 Repeat to use up all the puree, mango (not the reserved mango though!) and cream.
  • Step 6 Use the reserved mango to garnish the top of the pudding.
  • Step 7 You can eat the pudding immediately or chill for later.
Why local produce co-ops could solve your fruit glut

Why local produce co-ops could solve your fruit glut

**This is not an advert** because the cider in this bottle was made from the apples on that tree in my garden behind it! Well some of them at least are in the mix because last year we took the Bramley apples we couldn’t eat […]