Healthy lemon loaf cake recipe – perfect for Mothering Sunday

My mum is such a fanatic about afternoon tea so this year I’ve decided to have a go at making my very own selection of homemade treats for her to try.

This is just one of the tasters I’ve made that will be a sliced up on the cake stand. This recipe is actually a little bit of experimentation I have done myself to turn a lemon drizzle cake into a guilt-free dessert!

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This lighter alternative is sugar-free, dairy free and can be made gluten-free. Oh and it’s totally delicious!!

Healthy Lemon Cake recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of self-raising flour (oat flour or other gluten-free flour)
  • 1 1/2 tsp of baking powder (2 tsp for gluten-free)
  • 1 cup of alpro plant-based yogurt/ low-fat greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of agave nectar
  • 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest from 2 lemons
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil

Simple steps

1. Mix wet ingredients together (yogurt, eggs, agave nectar, vanilla extract, lemon juic and zest). Leave out the coconut oil for now.

2. In a large mixing bowl combine the dry ingredients together.

3. Slowly add the two mixtures together, gradually folding in the coconut oil.

4. Pour into greased loaf cake dish and bake in pre-heated oven for 40 minutes.

5. With a skewer check if it comes out clean then leave to cool before eating.

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It will last in an airtight container for a week. Delicious as an afternoon sweet treat with a cuppa or a fab dessert for you and your friends with custard or ice cream.

So you can have your cake and eat it! I hope you try this recipe at home and enjoy it as I hope my mum does this Sunday.

Love Leeanna xo

DIY Mother’s Day baking – Easy recipe for courgette, orange and pistachio loaf

Need some inspiration for Mother’s Day brunch, dessert idea or even as a homemade gift?

This healthy yet delicious cake is perfect for impressing all the lovely mum’s who have already tried and tasted everything.

I really surprised myself with this recipe… who would’ve thought a green vegetable I’ve only ever eaten with chicken for dinner actually tastes super delicious in a cake. I can’t think of a better way to sneak greens into my diet than inside my favourite kind of treat – cake and it’s just the type of dessert my mum would be intrigued to taste but never ever make herself.

FullSizeRender (4)What’s even more good news about this cake is that not only does it have nourishing goodness from the green veg but it is also packed full of protein and fibre from the flour I’ve chosen to use.

I found loads of pistachios leftover from making granola and I saw this recipe in Stylist magazine a while ago and decided to take on the challenge. I definitely recommend anyone to give this recipe a go to really impress you friends with something a bit different and sure to please with its healthy goodness and tastiness.

Courgette, orange and pistachio loaf recipe

Ingredients

  • 200g crushed pistachios
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 150g unsalted butter
  • 225g spelt flour
  • 185g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • Zest of an orange

Orange icing

  • Juice of half an orange
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar

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Method

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a loaf tin with butter.

Step 2: Crush the pistachios as best you can- I finely chopped them. Just be careful to watch your fingers and keep some for the topping!

Step 3: Cream together the butter (make sure it’s softened) , sugar and orange zest. Then combine with the cinnamon and flour, gently stiring in one egg at a time.

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Step 4:  Pour the mixture into the cake tin and bake in the oven for one hour. Cover the cake with foil halfway through cooking then allow to cool on a rack.

Step 3: To make the topping, just mix icing sugar and the orange juice for a sweet and citrus sauce.

Step 4: Serve the cake with the sauce poured over and some pretty crushed pistachio on top. Then enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my mum has and it encourages you to be a bit more brave and experimental with your ingredients in the kitchen!

Love Leeanna xo

Guilt-free Raw Snickers Cheesecake

Who doesn’t love a chunky snickers bar or a naughty slice of cheesecake?! Well there is a lot to love about this tasty combo of the two with it being gluten-free and refined sugar-free. It’s all-natural wholesome ingredients with no added sugar will help satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings and keep you satisfied for longer.

IMG_2158To replace the processed sugars of a normal snickers bar, I made this dessert a healthier alternative by using a raw and sugar-free recipe which is just as indulgent and fulfilling as the original. I was so shocked this actually turned out tasty and my whole family enjoyed it too. You can’t go wrong with a dessert of chocolaty healthy goodness- the perfect pud if you’re having friends over!

Raw Snickers Cheesecake

Ingredients

Base:

  • 1 1/2 cups of cashew nuts
  • 1 cup of desiccated coconut
  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 2 tbsp of Agave Nectar

Peanut Butter Caramel layer:

  • 8 pitted Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup of peanut butter (you can use a reduced fat one too)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp Agave Nectar

To decorate:

  • 1/4 bar of melted dark chocolate

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Instructions

For the base:

  1. In a food processor, crush up the cashews into small pieces.
  2. Add in coconut dates and agave until a sticky dough forms.IMG_2159
  3. Press the mixture into a round dish lined with clingfilm and put in the freezer for a good hour.

For the caramel:

  1. Blend all ingredients, adding the almond milk a little bit at a time.
  2. Once a smooth caramel consistency has formed spread over the base.
  3. Drizzle with melted chocolate in any pattern you desire.
  4. Pop it back into the freezer until it has hardened and viola a deliciously healthy dessert for everyone to have a slice of.

After trying my first ‘raw’ creation I will definitely give some other treats a go. I hope you enjoy this easy-to-make recipe and test it on your friends at home.

Love Leeanna xo

#MotivationMonday: Guilt-free Summer Berry Cake

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The past couple of weekends have been totally all about birthday celebrations and filled with delicious food, birthday cake and far too many bottles of prosseco and pitchers of cocktails! After all of these constant naughty treats, me and my housemates have developed a huge appetite and seem to be constantly hungry and constantly snacking on all the left over naughties in the house! Probably because we’re starting to truly feel the hangover…

Knowing and watching me fail at trying to complete my New Year’s Resolution to learn how to cook, one of my gifts from the girls was a recipe book by Amber Rose filled with healthy baking ideas for tasty sweat treats like cakes, tarts, jams, custard and puddings. Flicking through this Love Bake Nourish book, we have already bookmarked probably every page to try at some point! Our mouths were watering just looking at all the beautiful pictures!

Now that the celebrations of me turning the big 20 are over, we thought we’d give one of the recipes a go so we could munch on something healthier than our naughty stash of crisps and chocolate.

But of course it still needs to be tasty! So for my first go at attempting a recipe from the book, I chose the Summer Berry cake to use up all of our strawberries. Anything with fruit always makes me feel like i’m nourishing my body and doing it some kind of good.

Ingredients

Cake mix:

  • 160g wholewheat spelt flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 20g cornflour
  • 180g unsalted butterIMG_1944
  • 180g maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • Zest of half a lemon

Topping:

  • 180g fat-free greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp light honey
  • Punnet of strawberries/blueberries/raspberries

The steps in this recipe are so simple to follow without needing loads of equipment – exactly what I need!

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees and grease a cake or loaf tin, whichever shape you’d prefer the cake to turn out like.
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter until pale and fluffy, before slowing sifting in the flour a little bit at a time and beating in the eggs one at a time.
  3. Fold in the rest of the flour, baking powder and cornflour before adding the syrup, vanilla and lemon zest.

Top tip: If you think your mixture is too stiff just add a couple of tablespoons of milk.

     4. Pour your delicious-smelling mixture into the cake tin and bake for 40 minutes. The cake will start to look golden brown and smell amazing!

Top tip: Make sure you leave it cool for at least a good 40 minutes before you decorate with your topping.

     5. For the fruity topping, just mix the yogurt and honey in a bowl and spread on the cake as you wish before covering it with as many strawberries as desired. So simple but soooo tasty!

And wholla you have a tasty, refined-sugar free healthier cake for your family and friends to munch on! Delicious with your afternoon cup of tea.

I’d never used spelt flour before, I don’t think I actually even knew it existed! But in the book it’s a very popular ingredient in the recipes and Amber Rose highly recommends it for its texture and nourishing goodness.  I did a bit of research into the benefits of this type of flour and the reason it’s healthy is because it provides a number of nutrients including several B vitamins, lots of fibre for improving digestion and its lower in calories than wheat. Yay we can bake healthy!

And another health benefit that makes this recipe refined sugar-free is the alternative sources of sweetness by using maple syrup and honey. Maple syrup contains minerals, especially manganese and zinc, and at least 24 different antioxidants, helping your body with things like keeping bones strong and improving your metabolism. And honey is apparently good for improving athletic performance, whilst cotnaing antioxidants which help reduce the risk of some cancers and heart disease.
So could even be a pre-workout treat! Still best to eat both sweetners in moderation though! 🙂

Hope you give it a go at home and enjoy this recipe as much as we did!

Love Leeanna xo

#MotivationalMonday: Healthy snacking

Sometimes I just get those days where I feel really hungry all day- often it can be because of a sheer lack of boredom or because I’ve done lots of exercise and not re-fueled. But trying to snack on something that isn’t really unhealthy like biscuits and crisps or foods that aren’t so boring like an apple or grapes can be very difficult!

So I’ve been experimenting with some recipes and found a couple of snack ideas to satisfy your cravings and give an energy re-boost whether it’s for your elevenses, a post-work out treat or an afternoon pick me up.

These healthy snacks are completely guilt-free and SO easy to make!

Coconut Macaroon Balls

These tasty treats are free of gluten, dairy and refined sugar, making them a perfect mid-morning or afternoon snack! Me and my housemates loved enjoying these with a cup of tea and snuggling up on the sofa on Sunday evening.

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180c. Heat up the the almond milk in a saucepan and then mix the agave, honey, vanilla, salt, chia seeds and cinnamon together on a low heat.
  2. Take it off the heat and fold in the desiccated coconut and coconut flour until fully combined.
  3. Roll them into balls and place them onto a greased baking tray or dish lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes then let cool. DELISH!

This recipe makes 12 macaroons which can be kept in an air-tight container. My mum and sister are coming down to stay with me tomorrow so i’m very excited to show off my new-found culinary skills and give them these healthy treats to taste!

Raspberry Cocoa Energy Bites

These are super quick and easy to make and are yummy yummy yummy if you are a bit of a sweet tooth like me and can’t get enough of chocolate.

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of almond butter (or any other nut butter you’rd prefer)
  • 1 tbsp of cacao
  • Frozen raspberries

DIRECTIONS

  1. Melt the coconut oil
  2. Then just mix all the ingredients together and shape them into balls

It’s that simple! I topped mine with some desiccated coconut just to make it extra sweeeeet.

I hope you enjoy these guilt-free recipes. Happy snacking!

Love Leeanna xo

Healthy lunch box idea: Homemade vegetable couscous

I do love watching the show Come Dine With Me whenever i’m having a lazy day and I’ve always thought to myself- what an earth would I make for dinner guests. And all that came to mind was ‘I can make a banging dish of bean on toast’.

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Well I’ve been brave and got a bit adventurous by having a go at making my own vegetable couscous from scratch. I know it’s not very adventurous really- as I figured out it’s SO easy to make! But it’s a nicer way to be able to choose your own ingredients and spend less money on pots from the supermarket which might have hidden nasties! And it’s a great and simple meal to prep on a Sunday night to last you throughout the week.

Ingredients:

  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 4 large ripe tomatoes
  • 2 red onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g couscous
  • 500 ml of boiling water mixed with vegetable stock
  • Half a cup of peas boiled
  • 1 Tbs of butter
  • All spice seasoning
  • Mixed herbs
  • Salt and black pepper

Steps

  1. Get chopping! Peel and chop up the veg- cutting the tomatoes and onions into quarter chunks. Add these to a roasting tin with the garlic cloves peeled but whole and drizzle over the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Cook in a pre-heated oven for 45-50 minutes until soft- checking them and giving them a stir throughout.
  3. Meanwhile, put the couscous into a bowl and pour over the stock (or just boiling water if you’d prefer). Cover and leave for 5 minutes to allow the grains to soak up the water. This was the fun bit- taking the foil off to see it had all expanded and using a fork to make it all fluffy!
  4. While fluffing it up, stir in the butter, mixed herbs and all-spice seasoning to taste and then add your roasted veggies and peas.

And wholla you’ve got yummy couscous for the week! It makes so much that I froze half of the mix for another week. It goes great with curry as an alternative to rice and is the perfect chicken or fish salad accompaniment for your weekday lunch boxes- or just great in a bowl on it’s own!

I hope you enjoy the recipe!

Love Leeanna xo

How to make homemade healthy granola

One of my new year’s resolutions is to learn how to cook and actually follow a recipe! Two weeks into 2015 and I have my first accomplishment which was easy, healthy and delicious!

Breakfast is my absolute favourite meal of the day and something I really enjoy is yogurt topped with granola but I find most granola in the supermarket is either really unhealthy (because it is full of sugar) or really pricey!

IMG_0811 So I thought I would be brave and have a go at making my own. The best thing is you can add all the ingredients you like most like your favoutite nuts or dried fruit without adding all the naughty bits. With the help from a great recipe over on Elizabeth Rider, I got creative and got cooking. Mix together:

  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 1/2 cup of chopped nuts. You can choose from your favourites and they can be as chunky as you like. I only roughly chopped mine to give my granola a bit of crunch.

IMG_0802 I chose to use cashews, macadamia nuts and walnuts, firstly because they were in my cupboard but also because I love the taste of them even as a yummy snack.

  • 1/4 cup of seeds– Sunflower or pumpkin seeds are great because they are super good for you and super tasty!
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit. Again you chop it up or just throw it in. I went for raisins and dried cranberries for my mix.
  • 2 tbsp of honey– I actually used this great healthier alternative called Agave Nectar which is also a tasty addition to sweeten up your porridge.

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  • 2 tbsp of melted coconut oil–  This is where it gets a bit sticky but it’s also the fun part if your don’t mind getting a bit messy!
  • Mix everything together with your hands.
  • Pour onto a baking tray and bake for about 10 minutes until it is looking slightly golden.

IMG_0810 And there you have it your very own homemade granola! Delicious on top of yogurt, smothered in milk (I love it with unsweetened almond milk) or even just on it’s own!

I have such a big sweet tooth and always have to have a cheeky pudding so I tried to incorporate the granola into a tasty dessert. I came up with a berry granola cheesecake mess!

Mix fat free cream cheese and your favourite fruit or warmed berries and top with your very own granola. Delish!

I hope you enjoy this recipe and are sticking to your new year’s resolutions too!

Love Leeanna xo