Tag Archives: snack

Clean Florentines – the perfect Christmas cookie!

We might not be in December’s Christmas madness yet, but Bonfire Night is over, it’s nearly Thanksgiving across the pond, and I’m being booked for events with kids around healthy eating next year. What does that have to do with Christmas cookies, you might ask! Working with organisations and charities that support children and families is something that I love doing, demystifying healthy eating, and how delicious and achievable real food is. The opportunity to be introduced to them via a Christmas Cookie workshop is ideal!

So, what cookie will last well as a gift, be easy to make, and is a Christmas crowd-pleaser? Florentines are perfect, with their scope for adapting and their healthy ingredient swaps. You can make them as ‘clean’ as you please, depending on your budget and what is in your cupboard already. The jewelled nuggets of apricot, blueberry and cranberry makes the biscuits like beautiful seasonal stained-glass feasts for the eyes as well as the taste buds with the chocolate hiding on the bottom of the biscuits. Lovely!

This is the healthiest version, and what I use most often, but there are plenty of swaps you can make:

  • coconut sugar can be swapped for golden caster,
  • coconut oil can be swapped for butter,
  • buckwheat flour can be swapped for ordinary flour,
  • coconut milk can be swapped for ordinary whole milk,
  • almonds can be swapped for whatever nuts or combo you prefer,
  • the fruit can be whatever you choose.

Here’s the full recipe:

Makes about 20

100g almonds, roughly chopped

100g oats

40g dried apricots, chopped small

40g dried blueberries

40g dried cranberries

30g coconut oil

50g coconut sugar

1 1/2 tbsp honey

20g buckwheat flour

150 ml coconut milk

200g dark chocolate

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees, and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Mix the almonds and oats with the fruit, ensuring there are no clumps of fruit sticking together. Melt the oil with the sugar and honey gently in a saucepan until combined, then add the flour, whisking briskly for a couple of minutes until it thickens up. Quickly add the milk, whisking briskly again for a minute until you have a smooth, thick mixture.

Remove from the heat and stir in the fruit and oat mixture. Measure out spoonfuls of mixture onto the baking tray, leaving a bit of spreading room between spoonfuls. Even out and flatten slightly, then bake for around 15 minutes, turning the tray around half way through to ensure an even bake. Leave to cool, and when ready to decorate, melt the chocolate in a bain marie. Place the cookies on another sheet of baking parchment, face down, then drizzle and spread melted chocolate over the bottom of the cookies, and leave to cool and harden. You can also dip the cookies into the chocolate so that you have half and half versions. the choice is yours!

Enjoy your clean cookies with a cuppa before, during or after the seasonal madness!


The coolest cucumber summer smoothie!

You might think the green juice thing is a bit off-putting for a number of reasons, but there’s nothing easier or more refreshing than cucumber and mint in a smoothie made for a summer’s day, for breakfast or a cooling snack.

Peel a whole cucumber, cut small chunks straight into a smoothie maker or blender, add a helping of natural yogurt, and finally tear in a hefty handful of fresh mint leaves. Whizz up and adjust to taste – more mint, a splash of water or more yogurt, even a touch of Himalayan salt or some pepper – til you get the taste and consistency you like.

Cucumbers aren’t too fibrous, making them perfect for blending rather than juicing, plus you get the benefits of the whole cucumber and its fibre. Fantastic for hydration, minerals, and vitamins, but also great for water retention, skin and digestion, to say nothing of weight loss – smoothies like this are low calorie but filling, to say nothing of highly nutritious. Whizz, slurp and enjoy! ;-]

Looking forward to leading the smoothie masterclass at The Mind Body Connection workshop on June 14th – so many smoothie delights to teach (and taste!) 

Tahini hummus – healthy snack deliciousness!

One of the questions I’m frequently asked is what kind of foods are good as a healthy snack or easy light lunch. Dips with lots of veg crudités can be an excellent choice, especially if home made, and light on creamy ingredients. This one is a corker, based on tahini, so it’s creamy, rich and fresh.

Using a sesame seed paste instead of chickpeas adds an additional nutrient profile when chickpeas (as a salad or main meal side dish) feature in your weekly eating, as they should in a varied diet. Tahini is an amazing source of crucial nutrients in significant proportions like magnesium, calcium and iron, with a balanced polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat content. Veg like courgettes or roasted aubergine flesh create texture and get in some more good stuff, with coriander, lime and garlic adding an exotic flavour edge. Dip away with pitta strips, crudités, cherry tomatoes, and greens like tenderstem broccoli or asparagus (lightly steamed or raw) Bursting with flavour and nutrients, you can’t get a much better snack than this….

Tahini and Coriander Hummus

75g tahini
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 large courgette, chopped (the scooped out flesh of a roasted aubergine could be used here, or use both)
50 mls of oil (organic rapeseed, extra virgin olive oil or a mixture)
juice of 2 limes
a large bunch of coriander, chopped

Place all the ingredients in a blender, whizz up until smooth, season to taste, and enjoy!

Want to put the foundation of health in place in your life? Take a look at the plans, foods, starter packs and events that do just that!