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Apple and cinnamon muffins

Wholegrain Dairy Free Apple and Cinnamon Muffins

These are delicious and perfect for a tea time snack for the family on the weekend, or as an alternative to unhealthy snacks at work or school. They have no refined sugars, no dairy(especially if you try to avoid it like I do) and the wholegrain flour allows you to have a lower glycaemic index snack and keep you fuller for longer. Therefore one muffin should be sufficient and allow you to have better control on your portion. I ran an interactive food club with some of my clients on their weight loss journey last night where the topic was about portion control and hunger management. We know it can be hard to remind ourselves how much is considered reasonable when you are trying to achieve such a goal and break off particular habits (ex: 50 % of the plate filled with unrefined carbohydrates or consuming a whole pack of Nairns oat cakes (6) as a snack when 3 oat cakes should be enough).
I will delve deeper into this in a separate article.
Let’s get back to the muffins

Ingredients :

250g of wholegrain flour ( or gluten free self raising flour is an alternative if you are gluten intolerant)

1 tsp of baking powder

1-2 tsp of cinnamon

50-70g of agave nectar (or organic honey, the amount depends on the sweetness you would like to obtain. Agave nectar is lower in GI than honey/sugar.  )

2 eggs

125 ml of unsweetened almond milk (or organic wholebean soya milk)

2 grated apples (or 1 grated large cooking apple)

4 tablespoons of organic coconut oil

(50-100 g of sultanas can be an additional ingredient to the mixture)

Method

1.Heat your oven to 180/160 degrees Celsius ( fan/gas4).In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder, cinnamon.
2.In another bowl, mix the eggs, milk, coconut oil ( if quite hard at room temperature, you may melt the coconut oil and allow it to cool down before adding it to the mixture), agave nectar. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix well whilst raising the mixture with a wooden spoon and keeping it light. Then stir in the grated apples
3.Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes.

Cool on a wire rack and they are ready to eat

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As a note : Dried fruits like sultanas or prunes have high levels of sugar by volume not by piece.They also contain sulphites which can trigger asthmatic reactions so be careful. If you are watching the amount of sugar you are consuming, then avoid the sultanas in this recipe.

Cinnamon is a wonderful spice that contains Chromium, a mineral that plays a role in how insulin helps the body to regulate blood sugar levels.Insulin is a hormone that your body uses to change sugar, starches, and other food into energy needed for daily requirements. Chromium has been found to be a great tool in reducing your sugar cravings and research has shown that it can help pre-diabetic and diabetic type 2 patients. Always get in touch with a health professional before supplementing !

Homemade Nutty and Coconut Granola

FullSizeRender (5)My first attempt at making granola was not bad at all ! I ‘ve been asked to share my recipe so here it is. So looking forward to trying it with different ingredients.Swap the granola you get from supermarkets, often laden with added sugars and unhealthy fats which are pro-inflammatory and unfortunately contribute to several chronic health conditions.

This recipe is packed with oats, which stabilise your blood sugar levels so great when on a Low GI diet. If you are intolerant to gluten you can select the gluten free oats and voila this recipe is then also Gluten free in addition to it being dairy free.

The coconut oil, nuts, seeds including the chia seeds are lovely for your skin, hair and nails and giving you the glow you want and deserve .You get the sweetness from the cinnamon (great for hormone balancing and stabilising the sugar cravings you may have occasionally) and from dried dates. For those who follow a plant based diet, you get great amounts of healthy protein but also plenty of amounts of protein. Yes we use coconut oil , and once you invest in one of those  pots ( lucybee coconut oil, tiana , or higher nature for example), it will last for a while and you”ll find yourself baking and cooking with it all the time. This recipe is delicious !

Ingredients

2 cups of oats

1/2 cup of chopped almonds (when toasted in a pan for a few minutes, or in the oven, they add more crunch to the granola. you may do so before chopping them)

1.5 cup of coconut (flakes or shredded)

1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds

1/4 sunflower seeds

1/4 chopped dried dates

1/4 cup of pecans

wet ingredients

1/4 melted coconut oil

2-3 tablespoons of agave syrup or honey or maple syrup

2 tablespoons of cinnamon

1tsp of vanilla extract

Method : Melt your coconut oil in a saucepan and add in the other wet ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Substitute your ingredients for those that you prefer. Be it walnuts, cranberries, brazil nuts, walnuts,  raisins, ground flax…

Preheat your oven at 180 degrees Celsius.

Spread the mixture onto a pan lined with parchment paper or a non-stick mat and bake in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Do check very 15 minutes or so and give the granola a good stir

Allow to cool for 20-25 minutes before serving. You may keep the granola in the fridge or in an air-tight glass container for about a month..

Serving suggestion, with homemade apple compote ( cooked apples and water- wonderful source of pectin, anti-oxidants, fibre , low in sugar) and a sprinkle of chia seeds ( for more healthy protein and omega’s.)

or as a top up to your porridge, yoghurt or fruits.

 

 

 

 

Banana oat and coconut loaf

Dig into a slice of this moist, slightly nutty, hearty loaf for breakfast on the go or an afternoon snack to prevent dips in energy levels. It is also perfect post workout and it packed with fibre Here is my very easy Gluten free and Dairy free recipe. Adapt it as you like and let me know of the outcome.

Ingredients :

3ripe bananas, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 egg, 3tbsp grape seed oil or coconut oil( melted), 1/4  cup of organic cane sugar , 1/4 cup packed brown sugar, 2-3 tbsp. of honey, (depending on the ripeness of the bananas), 3.5 tsp of baking powder, 3/4 tsp sea salt, 1/2 tsp of ground cinnamon, 3/4 cup of almond milk or other milk of your choice, 1 and 1/4 cup of  dry shredded coconut, 1 and 1/4 of gluten free flour (again you may swap for wholemeal flour or self-raising flour of your choice, but do adjust the amount of baking powder is using a self-raising flour), 1 and 1/4 of organic gluten free oats.

1.Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius ( 350 F), Line a loaf pan with greaseproof paper

2.Mash banana in a large bowl and add all your ingredients through almond milk, and whisk vigorously to combine. Lastly add shredded coconut (you may swap this for almond meal ).Add the flour and oats and stir

.3. Bake for about an hour, when it is ready it should feel firm and be crackly with a golden brown tint.

4.allow it to cool completely before cutting or it will be too tender to hold form

5.Serve as it is, or add some nut butter or a thin layer of honey. But I loved it just as it was

You can slice and freeze for longer storage. But if you have children or men to feed in the house with packed snacks, it will go away very quickly, I promise. 🙂

So overall the loaf, has the right amounts of protein, fibre, is anti-inflammatory, full of flavour, Beta-glucans from the oats make it good for the heart and reduces the bad type of cholesterol, it will help to balance blood sugar levels and keep you full, limiting sugar cravings. It has omega 3 fats from the coconut oil and shredded coconut ! and these do not oxidise into harming molecules  ( we call free radicals) for the body , upon high heat ( like sunflower, vegetable oil, peanut oil amongst others) Omega 3 are also wonderful for the brain (development and concentration !) and beautiful skin.

If you do not eat EGGS, swap it with chia seeds, 1 tbsp of chia seeds with 2 and 1/2 tbsps of water which you mix and let it soak for a 5 mins.

You may also reduce the sugar content of the loaf as you wish, which I did.it really depends on who you are making it for.

happy snacking

x isabelle