Posts Tagged With: nutrition

Summer Berry Crumble (gluten and dairy free!)

As it was our last weekend before starting our little challenge we did more eating than training 😉 In an effort to indulge in a moderately healthy way we experimented with a gluten and dairy free crumble, with little added sugar. It actually turned out sufficiently well to get devoured in one sitting!Crumble

Ingredients

3 apples (peeled and cored)

10 Strawberries

Large handful of red currants

Handful of raspberries

2 Nectarines

Lemon (zest and juice)

teaspoon ground cinnamon

 

For the topping:

60g ground almonds

30g pumpkin seeds

60g gluten free oats

50g brown sugar

2 tables spoons sunflower oil

 

Method:

This really couldn’t be easier!

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius.

2. Combine all fruit in a large pan, with lemon juice, zest and cinnamon and simmer on a low heat until soft.

3. Divide fruit mixture into small dishes (we made individual crumbles, but you could just as easily make one large one)

4. Combine all topping ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

5. Spread the topping over the fruit mixture and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the topping is golden and crunchy!

Serve warm with custard or ice-cream and enjoy 🙂

 

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Cherry and Apple Frangipane Tart (Gluten Free!)

This was inspired by an apple frangipane tart I had in a restaurant a while ago. Almonds are almost the main ingredient – so this almost counts as a high protein treat – perfect for recovery after a long cycle! At least that is how I justified eating a quarter of the cake on Sunday! 🙂

It is actually really easy to make, but is easily the kind of thing you could serve at a dinner party…

Ingredients

  • 200g gluten free shortcrust pastry
  • gluten free plain flour (for dusting)
  • 85g butter and extra for greasing (unsalted, softened)
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 100g ground almonds
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 400g sliced fresh mixed apples (I used one braeburn, one pink lady and one granny smith)
  • 200g cherries and extra to be served on the side
  • 2 tbsp apricot jam

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C  and grease a 20cm tin
  2. Roll out pastry on a lightly floured surface (I like to get it as thin as possible)  then lightly press the pastry into the tin, trimming the edges.
  3. Prick the base of the tart in several areas with a fork and then line with greaseproof paper, fill with baking beans and cook in the oven for ten minutes.
  4. Remove the paper and beans, brush the pastry with a little of the beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 7-8 minutes, taking care that the pastry doesn’t burn – the idea is that it is cooked (so it will become crispy) but not too browned.
  5. Cream together the butter and sugar and then mix in the ground almonds, beaten eggs, vanilla essence and lemon zest.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the pastry shell and then cover with the sliced apples and halved cherries.
  7. Brush the whole tart with the apricot jam (this is easier if the jam is slightly melted either in a microwave or on the hob)
  8. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, checking after 30 minutes that it isn’t getting too brown.
  9. Leave in the tin to cool for about 10 minutes and then turn onto a wire rack before serving with the remaining halved cherries and cream or ice-cream and… ENJOY 🙂

    Tea time :)

    Tea time 🙂

Tea and cake in the garden was just what we wanted after our morning cycle and within a matter of minutes, very little was left!

 

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All Clipped-In and ready to Go :)

It was a day of firsts… Our first clipped-in cycle, our first mechanical issue, and our first cycle through a thunderstorm!

Having heard that they increase your efficiency by as much as 30%, last weekend Alice and I finally decided to ‘upgrade’ to clipless pedals. It has taken us several months to muster the courage for this. For someone who isn’t all that stable on their bike, the thought of being literally clipped into it was rather terrifying!

So it was with some fear and trepidation we set off on our first ‘clipped’in’ cycle heading for the beautiful cotswold countryside.

It turned out to be rather an eventful 70 miles…

The clipless pedals  were actually much easier than we had expected, although neither of us escaped the inevitable “slow-car-crash” type fall where we forgot to ‘un-clip’ in time at a junction. Fortunately falling in slow-motion was actually painless and we were happy that we had survived the traditional initiation into clip-in pedals and hopefully won’t need to repeat the experience!

About 25 miles in Mummy’s chain came off (ironically as they had been serviced the day before). This was a very minor deal and within minutes Alice had sorted the problem and we were off again.

We had set out knowing that Thunder storms were forecast, but felt it would be good practice as who knows what weather we’ll get in Scotland. We were amazingly lucky with out timings. The storms hit hard while we were having lunch, and we certainly took the opportunity to stock up on calories which seemed more and more necessary as the rain pelted down… This was our second cycle to the Feathered Nest and the food just gets better every time 🙂

We are so happy that they have donated a stay at the wonderful establishment for our Charity Auction in November as their food is amongst the best we’ve ever had and know that Daddy would be so touched! Whenever we are planning a cycle we are always pulled in their direction partly because the food is so yummy, but also because we have such happy memories of meals there with Daddy. He raved about their delicious tomato tart for years! The owners were so sweet and seemed very concerned that we were seriously intending to cycle over thirty miles home through the storm, they were so concerned the kept producing more and more free chocolates to sustain us through the rain:)

but miraculously the clouds parted just as we set off again…

We even encountered some Morris Dancers on the way home. It felt rather surreal; “surreal but nice” as Hugh Grant so famously said in Notting Hill and Daddy would often quote 😉

The rain only returned in force when we were less than a mile from home. Alice was thrilled that we had the experience of riding in a storm and I was very happy that the experience only had to last a few minutes.

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Another weekend… Another 83 miles :)

This weekend Mummy and I decided we needed to do a more realistic distance… so on Saturday we picked a favourite restaurant about 32 miles away to cycle to for Lunch and arranged to meet our Grandparents there – we knew we’d need an incentive to go that far 😉 and  we were very happy to know that they’d bring us clean clothes AND provide the option of a personal taxi-ride home if we were too exhausted to continue… Thankfully we needn’t have worried!

We couldn’t have been luckier with the weather, and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful ride! We managed to find a sneaky back route using our new bike Sat Nav (it’s like a miracle in a box!)

The Feathered Nest Inn in Nether Westcote is completely surreal… with panoramic views over the cotswolds, beautifully quirky decor and food that is out of this world! This might have something to do with the fact that the chef trained at Le Manoir aux Quatre Saisons… as might the fact that the portions aren’t always exactly what you want after a 3 hour bike ride 😉

The Feathered Nest

Despite not being enormous, my first ever experience of Courgette Flowers will certainly be a memorable one… and probably hard to beat! Thank heavens for giant puddings and Pettit Fours… we certainly made sure we got a good supply of calories! We felt VERY spoilt!!

 

Even our Grandparents looked pretty pleased when their chocolate cherry soufflé’s arrived and were almost the size of their heads!!

The Feathered Nest (2)

Its probably rather fortunate that they can’t really use the internet… or i’m sure they’d be rather embarrassed by this photo!

It was also special to visit somewhere we had been with Daddy, both before and during his illness. He had absolutely loved the whole experience and was always coming up with “special occasions” that could merit a trip to Nether Westcote for another delicious meal. He would be so SO touched to know that Tony and Amanda (the owners) are donating a night at their Inn as a prize at our Charity Auction in November!

It was the best weekend we’ve had in ages! Croatia is going to have a lot to live up to!!

The only thing missing was Alice, but as she was visiting her boyfriend in Fontainbleu in France we forgave her 😉

It was such a relief for Mummy to cover a big chunk of our daily mileage without too many ill-effects – although I don’t know why she’s worried – she goes so fast I could hardly keep up. Amazingly the only thing we noticed was being slightly saddle sore when we went out for our shorter loop on Sunday, which is pretty amazing when I look back on how my body used to feel after a long run!

I’m beginning to see why the world has taken to cycling!

 

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Key Lime and Chocolate Pots

This is the easiest pudding to make and always seems very well received 🙂 I’m embarrassed to admit that I made it this evening for the 3rd time this week! It is seriously addictive… I usually make it for dinner parties so this recipe makes enough for 6-8 people.

Ingredients

300ml whipping cream

300ml double cream

1 can condensed milk

Juice of 5 limes

300g digestive biscuits (gluten free if required)

150g dark chocolate (70%)

 

Method

1.   Mix together the cream, condensed milk and lime juice and whip until thick and creamy.

2.   Crush the biscuits with a rolling pin and chop the chocolate into very fine pieces (almost powdery). Then mix the chocolates with the biscuits.

3.   Spoon the chocolate biscuit mixture into 8 ramekins or sundae glasses (about a tablespoonful in each).

4.   Spoon the lime cream on top of the biscuit mixture (about 1.5 tablespoons in each).

5.   Then repeat so that you have another layer of chocolate biscuit mixture with a top layer of cream.

6.   Decorate with fruit and serve with a fruit salad.

Then… ENJOY!

*** This recipe should probably come with a warning that you shouldn’t make more than you think reasonable to eat in one sitting as it is dangerously moorish!!

Nb. This can easily be made gluten free by using gluten free digestives 🙂

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Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Bread

We had quite a few left over bananas and thought making banana bread might serve the double purpose of avoiding waste and encouraging Daddy to eat. I thought it would be nice to make it gluten and dairy free so experimented a bit with the recipe. I also added quite a bit of apple and dates so it is mostly fruit! It actually turned out better than i’d expected… and it was at least tasty enough to be devoured in one sitting!

I have to admit I was a bit jealous of Daddy’s lunch today…

Here’s the recipe:

 

Ingredients

8 medium bananas (mashed)

2 apples (peeled and cored)

1 cooking apple (peeled and cored)

¼ cup chopped dates

Juice of 1 Lemon

1 cup golden caster sugar

4 eggs

1tsp Vanilla or Lemon Essence

150g dark cooking chocolate

¼ cup sunflower oil

2 cups rice flour

Pinch of salt

 

Method

1. Preheat the oven to about 180 degrees C and grease and line 7inch bread tins.

2. Stew the apples with the dates and lemon juice – I did this by boiling the apples and dates in the lemon juice on the stove for about 10 minutes. Then set aside to cool.

3. Beat the eggs until light and fluffy then add the sugar and continue beating. Then add the apple mixture, sunflower oil, vanilla or lemon essence and mix well.

4. Stir in the rice flour and salt.

5. Add the chocolate to the mixture and pour into the prepared tins and bake for 35-45mins.

6. Leave to cool in the tin for about ten minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

7. ENJOY… warm or cool depending on your patience level – personally I think it is slightly better cold.

 

I might finally be learning the secret to cooking with my family – making two of anything if you want some left after the first sitting 😉

I’m looking forward to having a piece of the second loaf later!

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Lemon and Blackberry Crunch Cake :)

 

Ever since Alice dragged me to Aerial Silks yesterday (more circus related exercise!) i’ve been starving and Daddy always needs extra calories so a cake seemed a good idea 🙂

I’ve been wanting to try this combination for a while and finally got the chance today while Daddy was sleeping…

Ingredients:

100g Margarine

175g Golden caster sugar

175g Self-raising flour

1 heaped teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

4 tablespoons lemon juice

zest of 2 lemons

For the Crunchy Top:

Juice of 1.5 lemons

100g Golden caster sugar

 

Method:

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease and line a 7inch deep round cake tin.

Measure all the ingredients (except the blackberries) into a large bowl and beat well for about 2 minutes (until really well blended and smooth)

Stir in the blackberries and then turn into the prepared tin.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or until springy.

While the cake is cooking make the crunchy topping by mixing the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl – then pour over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven.

Let the cake cool in the tin… then turn out and enjoy – ideally with ice-cream and extra berries!

After about 10 minutes all that remained was…

So it can’t have been that bad 😉

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30,000 Calories worth of Nak’d Bars!

I’d met some of the Natural Balance Foods team at the London Bike Show (I admit – not entirely by coincidence ;)) and they offered to help us fuel our training 🙂

They make the Yummy Nak’d bars, which I am basically addicted to, and it turns out that their offices only a few miles from our house, although the bars are actually made in Wales.  I took my Dad there today and they kindly gave us nearly 300 Nak’d bars and loads of their specially flavoured raisins…

 

My favourite are cocoa delight and the apple or strawberry crunch (I especially like the fact that the crunch bars are high protein!) Now we have no excuses for running out of energy enroute!! 

Daddy loved our personalised tour of their warehouse – which was pretty massive!

 

And we are hoping he will help us munch through a few!

Thank you so much Andi for all your kindness!!

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Orange Almond and Carrot Cake – Gluten Free :)

I really like cooking with ground almonds instead of flour (especially as the extra protien is great for our Dad!) and replacing some of the fat and sugar with fruit juices or fruit. Here is another experiment, which turned out pretty tasty 🙂

Ingredients

3 tbsp pine nuts (browned in a frying pan)

3 medium carrots (grated)

100ml mixed Orange and Lemon juice

90g sultanas

100ml mixed Orange and Lemon juice

120g caster sugar

125ml olive oil, plus extra for greasing

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 free-range eggs

200g ground almonds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice

 

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Grease and line the base of a 23cm/9in round springform cake tin

Put the sultanas in a small saucepan with the mixed fruit juice and bring to the boil, and simmer for 3 minutes.

Whisk the sugar and oil until airily mixed.

Whisk in the vanilla extract and eggs and, when well whisked, fold in the ground almonds, cinnamon, grated carrots, sultanas and, finally, the lemon zest and juice.

Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts over the cake and put it into the oven for 30–40 minutes, or until the top is risen and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out sticky but more or less clean.

Pour into the prepared cake tin.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin

Then turn out… and ENJOY!

Maybe with some lemon or plain greek yoghurt.

It can’t have been bad as five minutes later… HALF WAS GONE!

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New Recipe: Beetroot, Orange, Date and Almond Brownies

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food”  George Bernard Shaw

Alice made these last night and they only survived a few hours… They are dangerously delicious!

We are trying to cook high protein and high nutrient meals as this is what our Dad really needs at the moment. We have been told that almonds and beetroots particularly good. I’m not sure if this means these brownies are slightly “healthier” than your traditional shop brownie, but they are certainly more yummy!!

Ingredients:

brownies  3766

3 medjool dates (cut into small pieces)
100g butter (unsalted)
150g unrefined golden caster sugar
50g Cadbury’s hot chocolate powder
40g Ovaltine powder
splash of Vanilla essence
Juice of 2 Satsumas
75ml of Beet Juice
275g Ground Almonds
3 eggs
200g Dark Chocolate (we used Green and Blacks)

Method:

1. Grease and line a 10inch square tin
(or any deep roasting tin about that size, a bigger size will just mean thinner brownies and reduced cooking time)

2. Pre-heat the oven to 185 degrees C

3. Melt the butter and chocolate together over a low heat

4. Beat the eggs and sugar until light and foamy

5. Fold the remaining ingredients into the egg and sugar mixture
(trying to retain as much air as possible!)

brownies  3761

6. Fold in the melted chocolate and butter mixture.

7. Pour into the prepared tin and level out. (don’t be worried if the mixture looks pink!)

brownies  3762

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes.

9. Remove from tin and when cooled cut into squares.

brownies  3763

10. ENJOY!

Now we had better get cycling to burn these off!

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