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

#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: How to make sugar free flapjacks

I have such a big sweet tooth like I literally could eat cake for breakfast, biscuits for lunch and chocolate for T- I just never seem to get cravings for anything savoury! So i’ve been trying to find some inspiration for mid-day snacks and desserts I can have that don’t contain all the nasty sugar.image

I love a good cereal bar as an afternoon pick-me-up with a cup of tea or as a quick on-the-go breakfast but the sad thing is all of these bars that claim to be ‘healthy’ are actually packed full of sugar… probably why I pick them up for that quick boost of energy.

I’ve created a recipe for flapjacks which is completely refined sugar-free and can be made gluten-free or dairy-free.

Ingredients (makes about 8 flapjacks):

1 cup of gluten-free oats or traditional rolled oats

3 tbsp of butter or coconut oil

1 mashed banana

1 tsp of vanilla extract

1/4 cup of raisins

1/4 cup of designated coconut

1 1/12 tbsp of agave nectar

Simple steps:

  1. Honestly this recipe is just so easy to do and not very messy at all! Firstly melt the butter in a saucepan with the mashed banana, agave nectar and vanilla extract until runny.
  2. Take the mixture off the heat and pour in the oats, raisins and coconut and combine all of this together.
  3. Pour the mixture into a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes (until they start to look a little golden on top.

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You can always replace the coconut or raisins with any other alternative like cranberries, apricots, seeds or nuts. Get experimenting! These tasty treats are great with a cuppa for pick-me-up snack or as an on-the-go breakfast.

I hope you enjoy this recipe and have a great start to the week!

Love Leeanna xo