Raspberry Recovery Bars

raspberry sports bar
Great for after a run

These are a delicious high calorie snack to have as part of your recovery from training or a race.

You could even crumble one up and serve over natural yoghurt or cottage cheese or as a delicious pudding with a few extra fresh raspberries on the side.

Raspberry Flapjack Slices are packed full vitamin C from the raspberries and healthy fats from the nuts, seeds, butter and coconut oil.

Try to use organic butter as it is higher in omega 3 oils and healthier than margarine.  Oats are a superfood as they release their energy slowly and are high in the soluble fibre beta-glucan that can help lower cholesterol.

If you are on a budget don’t be put off by having to buy the extra flax seeds, pumpkin or chia seeds – just add what you miss out with extra oats, or just buy one of the types of seeds.

Makes 10
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

350g oats
25g flax seeds
25g pumpkin seeds
25g chia seeds
50g organic butter
50g virgin coconut oil
50g honey
250g raspberries
20g coconut flour/oat flour

1. Preheat an oven to 180C, 350F, gas mark 4.  Line a 20cm x 4cm (8 x 1 ½ inch) square cake tin with a large piece of non-stick baking paper, snipping diagonally into the corners so that the paper fits snugly over the base and up the sides of the tin.
2. Grind the oats and seeds as this makes the mixture slightly finer and helps it stick together – these flapjacks have a tendency to crumble more than regular ones as they are lower in fat.  If you are short of time, grind only the flax seeds and chia seeds as your body doesn’t break these down.
3. Melt the coconut oil, butter and honey in a saucepan and add to the dry ingredients.  Add the oil/honey mix in stages, stirring well to make sure it is all incorporated.
4. Spoon two thirds of the mixture onto a baking tray and press it down firmly into the edges, ensuring it is at least 1cm deep.  Bake at 180C for 5 minutes.
5. While it is baking, blitz the raspberries in a blender or mash them with a fork.  Add the flour to thicken the consistency, and mix together
6. Remove the base from the oven and smooth the raspberry mixture over the top.
7. Sprinkle the remaining third of the oat mixture on top of the raspberries and press it down gently so it sticks into it.
8. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes or until brown on top.
9. Leave to cool before cutting into pieces.

Nutritional Information – Per bar:
Calories 285 Kcal
Protein 7g
Carbs 29g
Fat 15g

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Lisa Faulkner’s brie and strawberry parcels

Strawberry and Brie Parcels
Pastries for parties

Now that the warm weather’s here, how about some luscious cheese and berry pastries to enjoy at a picnic or evening soiree?

These dainty little pastries are great to hand round while warm from the oven, just remember to offer tiny paper napkins for sticky fingers.

Raw filo pastry dries out very quickly so keep the pastry covered until the very last minute. Unfold the sheets, take the top one off to use each time then recover the stack again.

Makes 24
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

270 g (9 ½ oz) pack of 6 frozen filo pastry sheets, defrosted
225 g (8 oz) Brie, cut into 24 pieces
225 g (8 oz) strawberries, about 12, each thickly sliced into 3
24 mint leaves
75 g (3 oz) butter, melted
Few rocket leaves and extra sliced strawberries to garnish, optional

1) Put one of the filo sheets in front of you and cut into eight rectangles, brush lightly with the melted butter then separate the pieces slightly. Add a second piece to four of the rectangles so that the second layer of pastry is at an angle to the first to make a star shape.
2) Add a piece of brie, a mint leaf and slice of strawberry to the centre of each then fold the edges of the pastry up and over the cheese stack, pinching just above the strawberry to make a little purse shaped parcel. Transfer to a baking sheet.
3) Repeat with the remaining sheets of pastry and filling ingredients. When all the parcels have been shaped brush the outsides with the remaining butter.
4) Bake in a preheated oven 180°C /350°F /Gas Mark 4 for about 10 minutes until the pastry is golden brown. Allow to cool for a few minutes then transfer to a serving plate; garnish with rocket leaves and extra strawberry slices if liked.

Make your own chocolate bars with 3 simple ingredients

Chocanistas of the world unite! Making chocolate is easy!

All you need is 3 simple ingredients.

Cacao powder, cacao butter and some sweetness. It’s the quality of the ingredient that counts.

Take The  Raw Chocolate Company’s Virgin Cacao Butter for example. It’s basically oil from raw organic cacao beans. Extracted without heat to ensure it keeps its nutrition, quality and wonderful chocolatey aroma.

Simple Raw Chocolate Recipe:

homemade chocolate
Enjoy making your own chocolate

90g Organic Virgin Cacao Butter
60g Raw Organic Cacao Powder
60g Organic Coconut Palm Sugar

1. Place the Cacao Butter in a bowl over a pan of hot water on a low heat and melt gently.
2. Leaving the bowl over the pan, add the coconut palm sugar to the melted oil and stir. 3. Then stir in the cacao powder and mix well using a balloon whisk or hand blender.
4. Spoon or pour into ice cube trays, silicon moulds or even a plastic tub to make one big chocolate bar!
5. Place in the fridge and leave to set.

For a flavoured Raw Chocolate, try adding any of the following: a pinch of cayenne or chilli powder, a drop or two of (food grade) peppermint or orange oil, orange zest, vanilla powder, sea salt, maca powder, dried fruit, nuts, spices… your life will never be the same again!

Easy Superfood Chocolates – vegan or dairy free recipe for Easter

Our friend chef and nutritionist, Christine Bailey, has come up with this brilliant but simple chocolate superfood recipe for Easter. Take a look…

Superfood chocolates especially for Easter
Superfood chocolates especially for Easter

My children love making homemade chocolates and as they follow a  dairy free diet this is a perfect way to create something scrummy and healthy for Easter. I love to cram in lots of superfood powders too – these are a great way to energise and nourish your body.  You could also mix in some other flavourings too – such as mulberries, goji berries, crystallised ginger or chopped nuts.

For more of my great healthy treats why not get my new Ebook – Paleo and Gluten Free Treats available from my website shop www.advancenutrition.co.uk

Makes about 20 chocolate   

100g raw cacao butter
2tbsp coconut oil
4tbsp raw cacao powder
2tbsp lucuma powder
2tsp maca powder
2tbsp raw honey or sweet freedom
1tsp super greens powder

1. Melt the cacao butter and coconut butter very gently – you can do this in a pan or over a bowl of simmering water.  Stir it as is dissolves.
2. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until smooth.  Pour into chocolate moulds and place in the fridge to set.

(Recipe copyright Christine Bailey MSc, MBANT, CNHC Qualified Nutritionist and Chef)

Recipe: Date Syrup drizzled over olive oil couscous cake

So I was checking out what could be done with Biona Organic date syrup.

(The simple answer is just about anything as date Syrup is pretty similar to maple syrup.)

But then I came across this intriguing recipe. It’s called Olive Oil Couscous Cake and when you get it nice and moist (using the best olive oil), it is, apparently, delicious.

So for those of you who like a challenge, here’s the recipe. Good luck!

1 cup all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup uncooked couscous
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup sweet sherry
6 large egg yolks
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup créme fraîche
1/2 cup date syrup
12 dates thinly sliced

1. Preheat oven to 190°C. Brush a regular cake tin with olive oil. Line bottom of pan with greaseproof paper and brush parchment with olive oil.
2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt into medium bowl; stir in couscous.
3. Blend olive oil and sherry in a bowl.
4. In a mixer mix egg yolks, eggs, and 1 cup sugar on high speed thick; stir in vanilla and orange peel.
5. Fold in the flour mixture and the olive oil mixture into the egg, alternating between the two.
6. Pour the batter into the pan. Tap the mixture to eliminate air bubbles.
7. Bake cake until dark brown for about 45 minutes. Test it is cooked with a knife. Leave to cool for 30 minutes. Then turn cake out onto a plate.
8. Serve in slices with créme fraîche, lots of drizzled date and a sprinkling of dates.

Christine’s Strawberry Cream Valentine Tarts – recipe

A perfect  celebratory dessert – creamy, rich and sweet. Ideal for Valentines Day: Christine Bailey’s Strawberry Cream Valentine Tarts

strawberry cream tarts1

Completely gluten free, grain free and vegan. Top with a fresh sliced strawberry or chocolate heart for a truly romantic treat.

Christine is a well known nutritionist, chef, presenter and author of many healthy recipe books.  Her latest book Nourish is a cancer care recipe book written in collaboration with the Penny Brohn Cancer Centre. Christine will be running a cancer care cookery demonstration on May 5th at CNE, Wokingham.  For more information and to book visit advancenutrition.co.uk/cookerydays

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Freezing time:2 hours 30 minutes
Suitable for: vegetarians, suitable for vegans, Dairy Free, Seed Free, Soy Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free

Serves 6

Base:
125g pecan nuts
75g pitted, soft dates
2tsp melted coconut butter
Filling:
250g cashew nuts
200ml Vanilla Rice Dream
225g Strawberries, chopped
3tbsp maple syrup
Pinch of Himalayan salt
115g melted coconut oil

1. Grease 6 metal rings and line the sides with a strip of baking parchment. Place on a lined baking sheet.
2. To make the base grind up the pecan nuts in a food processor until very fine.  Add the dates and coconut oil and process to form a sticky dough. Divide the dough between the metal ring bases and press down firmly to form a crust.
3. Place in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden
4. To make the filling place all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth and thick.  Divide the filling between the metal rings.  Return the rings back into the freezer and freeze for 1-2 hours until firm.  Carefully remove the rings and place the desserts on individual serving plates.
5. Place in the fridge and allow to defrost for an hour before serving. They can be kept in the fridge until needed.
6. Top with berries or a chocolate heart to serve.

Vegan pancakes without eggs? Easy peasy recipe!

Vegan pancakes without the eggs are easy when you have the know how…

veganpancake5oz plain flour
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
300ml water
1 tbsp oil
icing sugar for dusting
selection of fresh fruit

1. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl, make a well in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Whisk until blended.
2. Add a small amount of oil to a frying pan and place over medium heat. Check the oil is hot by adding a drop of batter, if it spits then it is ready.
3. Pour a scoop of batter into the pan. Brown on both sides.
4. Move pancake to plate. Arrange fruit on top shaped in a smile and serve with a sprinkling of icing sugar.