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

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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 gluten free cauliflower pizza

So for lent I decided to give up gluten and I’m shocked at how well I’ve managed to keep it up. Me and my housemate have used it as a great excuse to actually have a go at different recipes we’ve seen all over Instagram and wanted to try for ages like courgette pasta and cauliflower pizza dishes. Sweet potato brownies is next on the agenda so I will keep you posted!

This gluten free alternative is a great healthy option for dinner parties, a sharing evening meal and even better when there are leftovers for lunch the day after.

I was so surprised how much the cauliflower base started to look like dough as it cooked in the oven and it really didn’t take too much effort. The only difference was that it didn’t turn out quite the same shape as a pizza as we’d have liked… but it was a our first go. There is room for improvement!

We topped one with veggies and the other with pesto chicken – both very scrummy and we recommend to try!

Read more: Gluten free chocolate cake recipe

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Ingredients

  • 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian herbs
  • A few grind of cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break and chop the cauliflower into small florets and pulse in a food processor until fine.
  3. Steam and drain well. (We put it on top of kitchen roll to help get the moisture out)
  4. Once you have let the cauliflower cool, combine it with the rest of the ingredients.IMG_1599
  5. Transfer to the middle of the baking sheet. What I would recommend – that we didn’t do and should have done – is spread it into a circle to try and resemble a pizza crust.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Top it up

For the veggie one we covered the base with tomato passata, chopped peppers, sweetcorn, red onion and grated cheese.

For the meaty one we fried the chicken in a little coconut oil and pesto before topping on to the tomato passata, onion, sweetcorn and adding cheese.

Read more: Baking cake with veggies

The might not be circular shape but I think they look pretty damn close to squared-shaped pizzas! Can you even tell from the pics that the bases are made from a vegetable? I hope you try this at home and enjoy experimenting with gluten-free options as much as we 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

Summertime Healthy Dinner Inspiration

I’ve mentioned it a few times on my blog and am gradually fulfilling my New Years’ resolution to learn how to cook. Well i’ve recently made substantial progress and finally cooked my first ever meal for my family so I thought I ‘just have to blog about this’ huge step of my life! They were very wary to start with but gave me a chance and left the kitchen to me.

I decided to make a few different dishes- something everyone can pick at and food that’s healthy. Well really I thought if anything goes wrong, at least there might be one good dish still standing haha! It’s so nice that the evenings are light again and being at home is great because we have a lovely garden to sit outside and eat together. So I went for a BBQ-esque summer time meal- food that can be cooked on the barbecue or just as well in the oven (gotta be prepared for the English summertime weather!)

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On the menu:

  • Soy sauce and honey marinated chicken
  • Light Halloumi cheese, cherry tomato and mixed pepper skewers coated in lemon, olive oil, chili and mixed herbs
  •  Roasted sweet potatoes drizzled with olive oil, rosemary and lots of black pepper (bake for a good half hour/45 mins to get them crispy)
  • Grilled asparagus wrapped in parma ham- so easy to chuck on the BBQ on hot days
  • Tomato and cucumber salad tossed in lemon juice, olive oil and seasoning- Tasted lush with the chicken!

I even made a garlic mayo to go with the sweet potato wedges! So easy to do- I just mixed 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise with 1 crushed garlic clove, a squeeze of lemon juice and some black pepper. It tasted sooo good with the sweet potato!

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I’d only tried the Cypriot cheese for the first time on Friday so I think my family were very impressed that I actually manged to cook a good dish with it! Everything went down a treat which made me happy! I can actually cook, yay!

If you’re like me and not quite the Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson just yet, surprise your family and friends with these dishes this Summer. Light, easy and very tasty.

Happy cooking!

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