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Mummy Muffins

That got your attention!

As I mentioned in Super Speedy Snacks, I recently gave a talk to my local NCT Bumps & Babes group with lots of practical easy ideas to incorporate healing, healthy, energy-boosting foods into their very busy lives.

I have no idea if they were listening because frankly the babies were making a right racket, but I do know that the muffins went down a treat. The reason I have called them Mummy Muffins is that they contained two special ingredients to encourage milk flow – fennel and caraway seeds. Now, don’t worry, you won’t start spontaneously lactating, but it does give them an lovely aniseedy tang.

I have adapted the recipe for Good Morning Muffins from one of my favourite cookbooks, Leon by Allegra McEvedy, to make them less sugary, more nutty and seedy, gluten free, and of course, milk flow-inducing. Here you go:

 

Makes about 8 in a deep muffin tray.

  • 2 eggs (free range definitely, organic preferably)
  • 90ml groundnut oil
  • 3 heaped...
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Super Speedy Snacks

Last week I gave a little talk to my local Bumps & Babes group. I spoke to 15 or so new mums and chatted to them about fitting good nutrition into their extremely busy lives. Although my kids are a tiny bit older now (almost 5 and 2) I remember all too well what it was like to be right in the thick of those early months when you had absolutely no spare time, were constantly knackered and permanently hungry. As one mum put it, ‘in the eye of the storm’.

The talk was really well received and I was buzzing afterwards, and inspired to write a little post after a question that one of the mums asked me. She wanted some ideas for really quick snacks so stop her from filling up on biscuits. So I thought I’d share a few ideas for healthy and quick snacks that you can try even if you’re not a new mum. The key to avoiding blood sugar crashes and sugar cravings is to eat regularly, limit refined sugars, and combine complex carbohydrates with protein. A few speedy...

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Saucy Asian Noodles

I subscribe to a daily email from World’s Healthiest Foods (www.whfoods.com). You have to go and have a look if for nothing else but the fabulous George Mateljan in action – but it is packed full of amazing facts about the health properties of certain foods, and how to cook them to preserve their nutrients.  Anyway, I have to admit, most days I read the recipes, think ‘that looks nice’, and completely forget about them. But today’s recipe looked so tantalizing that I just had to whip it up for dinner tonight and it did not disappoint. Here is the recipe for the saucy bit.

  • 1/2 cup minced scallion (It’s an American site – that’s finely sliced spring onions to us UK folk)
  • Sauce
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, grated
  • 2 1/2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp water
  • pinch cayenne to taste
  • Salt and white pepper to taste

Whisk all the saucy ingredients in a bowl and add in...

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Reducing the amount of sugar you drink

One of the easiest ways of cutting down on the amount of sugar you consume is looking at how much is in your drinks. Because some drinks contain such massive amounts of sugar, limiting your intake of these will go a long way to reducing your overall sugar load. I’ll be looking at fizzy drinks, added sugar to tea/coffee, juice and squash.

1) Fizzy drinks:

With about 8 teaspoons of sugar in a regular can of Coke these really need to be the first drinks to go, especially if you are drinking these every day, several times a day.

  • My advice would be to stop buying fizzy drinks in your supermarket shop so that they are not in the house, and if you have to have one, limit your consumption to when you are out in a restaurant.
  • PLEASE do not switch to ‘diet’ versions. If you think this is healthy alternative, it’s not!

2) Tea and coffee:

If you add sugar to tea or coffee, the simplest thing to do is to stop! You might need to reduce the sugar gradually so that you get...

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Cinnamon and Almond Hot Chocolate

Try this heavenly dairy-free alternative to a regular hot chocolate – just perfect for curling up with on a snowy day like today:

250mls almond milk
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp cocoa powder (Suma make a dairy & gluten-free alternative)

I, rather decadently, whizzed up all the ingredients in my Nespresso milk frother but if you do not have one of these (I admit they are more of a luxury than an essential kitchen appliance) then do it the manual way instead: make a paste with the cinnamon and cocoa powder in a little cold almond milk, then whisk in the warmed almond milk and pour into your favourite mug. This is mine.

Wrap your frosty fingers round the mug and make soothing mmm sounds between each sip.

Happy Snow Day!

xoxo

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Winter Warmer

So it’s Arctic outside, the thermals are on, and with more snow forecast our instinct is to reach for comfort food that is going to leave us feeling all warm and cosy. Comfort food doesn’t have to be stodgy though and at this time of year my slow-cooker is a permanent fixture on my kitchen counter. I adore my slow-cooker (I have a Crock-Pot, but others are available). All I have to do is chuck some meat and veg into it and rudely ignore it for the rest of the day. Then, at dinnertime I slop the contents into a plowl (platey-bowl or bowly-plate) and thank it kindly for making me a delicious, hearty, warming, nutritious meal!

So I’d like to share a recipe for a casserole that I made the other day using my usual trick of adding a few shakes of whichever spices are closest to the front of the cupboard, and this one was really quite heavenly. Rich, spicy, warming – get involved!

1 pack of diced casserole beef
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2...

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Back to School Breakfast

If you are starting to get a rising panic in the pit of your gut at the thought of getting yourself and your kids not only out of your pyjamas, but out of the house and back to school next week, then you are not alone. We have been very fortunate that our sleeping beauties have been lying in until 8.30am some mornings over these holidays!!! So how on earth I am going to get them ready to leave by 8.30 next week is currently beyond me.

I have started thinking of ways to get organised to minimise the inevitable getting ready for school battles. I will admit that I am partially to blame for some morning panics because a) I really dislike getting up and b) I refuse to leave the house without, at the very least, some mascara on.

Aside from getting everyone’s clothes out the night before, having bags packed and beside the front door, shoes and coats ready (I never do any of this by the way, but I know some insanely organised mothers that do…), how about making breakfast the...

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New Year’s Schmesolutions

Happy New Year! I sincerely hope you are bringing in 2013 with love and laughter.

Have you made a list of New Year’s Resolutions? Is it the same as last year’s? How did that work out for you?

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. They set you up to fail because, usually, by 2nd January, mine have gone out the window.

Isn’t it interesting how a lot of New Year’s Resolutions are based around food or body image? Must drink less alcohol, must drink more water, must lose weight, must do this diet, must eat less carbs, must eat more veg, must get rid of cellulite, must look younger etc etc.

How about if, instead of a lengthy, intimidating list of self-improvements that only make us feel worse about ourselves, we decided on just one and worked at sticking at it? How about if we just changed ‘One Small Thing’?

‘One Small Thing’ is my January gift to you. Pick one change you really want to make, be really specific, make it...

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