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

How to make Baileys and Terry’s Chocolate Orange hot choc

It’s that time of year again… onesies, Christmas movies and your favourite mug of hot cocoa.


Hot chocolate isn’t just for children though. Now you’re legal you can add as many shots of Baileys as you like to the nostalgic winter treat and what’s is more festive than the flavour of chocolate orange. Without fail, every year I find not one, not two, but THREE Terry’s Chocolate Orange’s in my stocking on Christmas morning.

So if you’re like me and can’t wait until the 25th of December for the delicious sensation, why not have a go at this easy and tasty Hot Chocolate recipe. Perfect for a cosy winter night-in while you put your feet up in front of the fire.

Terry’s Chocolate Orange and Bailey Hot Cocoa recipe

Ingredients

  • Terry’s Chocolate Orange (Why not try the honeycomb or white edition for an even more christmasy feel!)
  • Milk
  • Baileys Irish Cream (Baileys chocolate and Baileys orange truffle would also make great additions to the drink!)
  • Marshmallows – mini, sparkly or giant – whatever your preference
  • Whipped Cream


Steps

  1. Choose your favourite cocoa mugs – I am loving Maison Jars at the moment so thought I’d be all trendy and have a go with these.
  2. Melt 1/4 of the Terry’s Chocolate Orange
  3. Drizzle the chocolate as you wish around the inside of the mug – be as creative as you like!
  4. Heat up two mugs of milk
  5. Melt 6 segments of the chocolate
  6. Pour the milk and melted chocolate into a blender and add 2 shots of Baileys (or as little or as much as you like!)

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7. Pour the mixture back into the mugs and re-heat

8. Now it’s time to decorate!! Add all your favourite hot cocoa toppings to your heart’s content. I added MORE Terry’s chocolate by grating shards and adding pieces with marshmallows but squirty cream would also be a fab addition.

I hope you enjoy these tasty Hot Chocs as much as we did on our cosy Sunday night. They go perfectly with mince pies too, to really get you in the Christmas spirit.

Love Leeanna xo

 

How to make Gluten free chocolate cake

For lent I have decided to give up all gluten. I didn’t realise quite how hard it would be to resist the urge for things like noodles, crackers, cakes, biscuits… and all the rest! But I’ve felt so much better already since doing it. I’ve stopped suffering from bloating and nausea after eating what felt like every meals!

But now that I have found a way to eat chocolate cake on a budget AND with no baking skills I think I will survive!!

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I couldn’t believe how well this recipe turned out. Honestly it tasted like the best chocolate cake I’d ever eaten and it was completely flour free. While giving up eating gluten, I wanted to avoid spending a lot of money of gluten-free alternatives like flour because they can be pretty pricey. But with this recipe you use exactly the same ingredients as you usually would for baking- you just don’t add any flour into the mix!

So you won’t feel guilty on your budget or bloated on your tummy! YAY.

Read more: Gluten free raw snickers cheesecake recipe

How to make the flourless cake?

Ingredients:

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  • 120g dark chocolate
  • 120g butter (You can use a dairy free alternative too)
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder (I used the dark cadbury Bournville one)
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Read more: Baking with veggies: Courgette, orange and pistachio loaf

Method:

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  1. Preheat the oven to 150 C / Gas 2. Grease a cake tin of your choice and dust with cocoa powder. They texture is very much like a brownie consistency so will also work as a tray bake.
  2. In a heatproof bowl gently simmering over boiling water, melt the chocolate and butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, cocoa powder, eggs and vanilla.
  3. Pour into the dish and bake in for 30 minutes. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, before turning it out onto a wire rack and leaving it cool completely.

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Read more: Guilt-free Summer Berry Cake

Top tips:

  • Re-heat leftovers in microwave for 20 seconds
  • Top with vanilla ice cream, strawberries and toffee sauce for the tastiest dessert ever!

Mmm. Just writing this blog post makes me want another slice! I hope you have just as a success with this recipe as I have.

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

Valentines Cookies <3

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So everyone says ‘food is the key to a man’s heart’ and for my boyfriend I think that is definitely the case.

I know how much he loves cookies so I thought as an extra treat to go with his valentines gifts I would make love heart cookies with a personal touch of the love heart sweets-style.

They are so easy to make and I think they are very cute!

Ingredients:

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175g plain flour

100g chilled butter

85g caster sugar

1tsp vanilla extract                                                                              

1 egg yolk

For decorating:

Icing tubes (colors of your choice)

Icing sugar mixed with water

Step 1:

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Put the flour, butter, sugar, vanilla and egg yolk in a food processor. Dribble in 1 tbsp water and blitz until the mixture comes together to form a dough. Tip onto a work surface and knead briefly to bring together. Make sure you put flour on the surface otherwise things may get pretty sticky! Then wrap in cling film and chill for 20 mins.

Step 2:

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Roll out the dough to the thickness of a £1 coin. If you have a heart cutter to stamp out heart shapes that’s great! But if not you can just as easily make your own heart shapes by cutting them out with a knife. Make as many hearts as you want from the dough of sizes you would like. Put the hearts on 2 baking trays and bake for 12 mins, swapping the trays over halfway through, until pale golden and crisp. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

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Step 3:

Once the cookies have completely cooled it’s time to get decorating! I used the theme of Love Heart sweets to decide how to top my cookies. Firstly pour icing sugar into a bowl to fill about half of it and then gradually add water until it is a thick consistency and a very white color. Then spread this on each cookie to give it a white background. I chose pink and purple sparkly icing tubes for writing and drawing a heart outline of my cookies- you can choose whatever you like. I copied the Love Heart sweets and iced the cookies with phrases such as ‘I ❤ U’, ‘Hug me’, ‘Kiss me’ etc. But you can write whatever you like!

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And there you have it your own personalised Love Heart cookies, perfect for Valentines!

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