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Simple Supper – Baked Turkey Meatballs

These delicious little turkey meatballs are so easy to throw together. They spend most of their time in the oven leaving you free to spend some quality time playing with your darling children/folding a load of laundry/emptying the dishwasher/painting your toenails* (*delete as appropriate).

It’s so easy to get stuck in a rut of cooking the same old family suppers. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for new recipes and flavours that can break the monotony of the weekly repertoire.

Turkey is not an ingredient that I use an awful lot of at home. I’m not usually a fan of the dry, roasted, Christmas kind but it’s a great alternative to chicken. These turkey meatballs are just so tasty, I’ll definitely be cooking with it more often. Turkey is a very rich source of protein which helps to stabilise post-meal insulin levels. It is also high in B vitamins, needed for energy production, amongst many other functions.

Another nutritional benefit of turkey...

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Gluten-free Granola

I’ve been making my own gluten-free granola for quite some time now. First of all, most of the shop-bought gluten-free granola options were so sugary that they did not pass the test for a healthy breakfast; and secondly, they are usually very expensive. So I set out to create my own and had been using the same formula week in, week out, until I got a little bored of it and stopped making it altogether.

Then one of my little ones asked me if we could make some granola so naturally I obliged and checked the cupboard for ingredients. Result! Thankfully my cupboards are usually well stocked with oats (gluten-free, of course) and a selection of nuts and seeds but – disaster – no honey or maple syrup. Or so I thought! It turns out this (slightly sticky) half bottle of Meridian Date Syrup was the secret ingredient I’d been looking for to magic my granola into something quite scrumptious indeed. Not too sweet, but wonderfully gooey and intensely moreish. 

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Quick sugar-free snack

Looking for a quick and easy, carbohydrate and sugar-free snack?

Try this for a tasty mid-afternoon sugar-free snack:

Take a stick or two of celery and fill them with some almond butter. The protein and the healthy fats in the almonds will fill you up for longer than a sugar-laden biccie. High sugar snacks only provide very instant gratification and usually leave you hankering for something else 5 minutes later.

Snacking helps to keep your blood sugar levels more stable which helps with energy, weight loss and headaches. Just be sure to include a good source of protein will all your snacks, such as nut butter, houmous, avocado or seeds. Combine these with some vegetables instead of a carb-based cracker and you’ve also got yourself a grain-free, paleo friendly snack!

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Date & Almond Energy Balls

These date and almond energy balls are hugely popular in our house and have even been named ‘coconut balls’ to make them more palatable for the children! They think they’re having a sweet treat but I’ve actually sneaked in a load of really wholesome ingredients that they don’t even know are doing them good! I do this quite a lot with the kids. If they had any idea what I put in most of their meals they’d probably never eat them, but it’s all about the sneaking and the subterfuge.

These energy balls are just delicious, very filling and packed with protein and good fats for those growing bodies and brains. Be warned though, more than 2 or 3 at a time could cause a small case of the trouser trumpets.

Ingredients:

10 pitted medjool dates (or if using dried dates, soak them beforehand)
100g seeds and nuts of your choice – sunflower/pumpkin seeds, cashews, walnuts, pecans and almonds all work well
35g dessicated coconut, plus extra for dusting...

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Lemon and Pecan Cookies

I wish I was an accomplished enough chef to dream up baked treats such as these, but I’m more of savoury specialist, so I scour the internet searching for gluten free delights so that I can bring them to you! These cookies are from one of my favourite wholefood websites, Petite Kitchen. I aspire for my family to eat like this all the time, and we are transitioning to a completely gluten and sugar free household, so these are the perfect tasty morsels to get the kids on board.

These gluten, dairy, sugar and egg free cookies (yes, you CAN achieve deliciousness without these ingredients!) are packed full of protein and essential fats so you don’t need to eat many to feel full, and they are a perfect lunchbox accompaniment.

Ingredients:
1 cup ground almonds
4 tbsp organic cashew butter (you can use any type of nut butter)
1/2 cup shredded/dessicated coconut
4 tbsp honey
zest of 2 lemons
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
about 1/2 cup...

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Healthy Christmas Treats for Kids (And Adults!)

I have been inspired to write this post in advance of my appearance tonight on the lovely Parent’s Show on my local radio station in St Albans, Radio Verulam 92.6FM

The topic got me thinking about Christmas and about our traditions of allowing ourselves to completely stuff our faces with the knowledge that we’ll mop up all the damage in January. This tradition is about as ingrained in the British psyche at the Queen’s Speech. But it’s not exactly sending out the right message to our children is it? Especially at Christmas. Truckloads of chocolate + a bucket of sweets + a skipful of Santa excitement + a day of insane present-opening = MELTDOWNORAMA!!! I mean I think we’ve come to expect a level of completely tearful tantrums at some point over the festive season (and that’s not just because I have NOTHING to wear on Christmas Day), but is it really fair on our children’s little bodies to let them eat whatever they want, keep...

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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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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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