Something sweet

Low Fat Waffles

Makes 2 waffles

Ingredients 
2 Egg whites plus 1 whole egg
2 tbsp coconut flour
2 tsbp milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
Strawberries to serve

Method 
Whip 2 of the egg whites to stiff peaks.  Once you have stiff peaks, stir in the coconut flour, milk of choice, baking powder and the egg. Heat up your waffle iron to the highest temperature, and grease or spray with a little oil. Pour in the batter, and cook in the waffle iron until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Serve with the strawberries.

Bircher with rhubarb and ginger compote

Rhubarb is packed with many nutrients needed for good health including fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K, B vitamins, calcium, potassium, manganese, and magnesium. It also contains the antioxidant vitamin beta carotene as well as other antioxidant compounds like lutein and zeaxanthin which act in a similar way to vitamin A, protecting the skin and eyes from the effects of free radicals. 

Serves 2

Ingredients 

500g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into chunks
Zest and juice of 1 orange
Knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tbsp honey
200g carton  Greek yoghurt
50g oats

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. 

Put the rhubarb, orange zest and juice and fresh ginger in an ovenproof dish and drizzle with the honey. Cook in the oven, uncovered, for 30–40 minutes. Allow to cool and then transfer to an airtight container. This will keep in the fridge for up to 1-2 days.

Put the yoghurt into a bowl and stir in the oats. Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hours (overnight is preferable). When ready to eat, swirl in 2 tablespoons of the rhubarb compote and divide between 2 bowls.

Bramley Apple & Almond Cake

Ingredients

  • 175g butter
  • 2-3 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 Bramley apple
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200g dried fruit
  • 75g ground almonds
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100g wholemeal flour
  • 75g spelt flour
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • Splash of lemon or orange juice

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C/gas 4.
  2. Butter a loaf tin and line with a strip of baking paper, or use a loaf tin.
  3. Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then beat in the eggs one by one.
  4. Grate the apple and mix it into the batter with the vanilla, dried fruit, ground almonds and juice.
  5. Mix the baking powder, flour and spices together with a pinch of salt, then sieve and fold into the mix until even. Spoon into the tin and level the top.
  6. Bake for 45 mins, then turn the oven down to 140C/gas 1.
  7. Cover the cake with foil, then bake for another 45 mins until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool in the tin.

The cake can be kept in the freezer for up to 1 month.

Bircher muesli

Make this healthy homemade muesli mix the night before and keep chilled in the fridge so that the oats and dried fruit absorb some of the moisture, plumping them up and giving the muesli a softer texture. The oats have low GI, which means their energy will be released slowly, keeping you going throughout the morning. The blackcurrants are a rich source of vitamin C and contain powerful antioxidants which will boost your immune system and keep you feeling healthy and energised.

Serves 2
Per portion: 272 kcal, 8g protein, 7g fat, 48g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 50g rolled oats
  2. 100ml apple juice (or freshly squeezed orange juice)
  3. 2 tbsp. low fat yoghurt
  4. 1 tbsp. currants
  5. 1 tbsp. flaked almonds
  6. a sprinkling of ground nutmeg and/or cinnamon
  7. ½ apple, peeled and grated
  8. ½ banana, mashed
  9. 1 tbsp. blackcurrant in juice

Method:

Combine the rolled oats, apple juice, yoghurt, currants, almonds, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large bowl and stir together. Chill overnight (or for at least two hours). Before serving stir in the grated apple, mashed banana and blackcurrants.

Crunchy blackberry and apple crumble

Autumn is also the time of year for crispy English apples and sweet soft blackberries so try this delicious yet healthy blackberry and apple crumble. Apples are a good source of the antioxidant quercetin, which can help to keep the heart healthy and may reduce the risk of cancer, while blackberries are one of the richest fruits in vitamin C, which will help to ward off cold weather infections. Seasonal, locally produced fruit is more nutritious than fruit flown in thousands of miles from other countries as less time has elapsed from picking the fruit to eating, during which period levels of some vitamins drop. Rather than the usual crumble topping, this recipe uses muesli and wholemeal flour to lower the fat content and boost the amount of fibre.

Serves 8
Per portion: 395 kcal, 20g fat, 6g protein, 50g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 900g English apples
  2. 400g blackberries
  3. 200ml grape juice
  4. Juice of 2 lemons
  5. 225g wholemeal flour
  6. 175g butter
  7. 2 tbsp. demerara sugar
  8. 125g muesli or a mixture of oats, seeds and chopped nuts

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Peel, core and chop the apples into small chunks. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze the juice over the apple and mix well. This not only adds flavour but prevents the freshly peeled apples from discolouring. Layer the apples and blackberries in a large pie dish and sprinkle over the grape juice. Place the flour in a large bowl and then rub in the butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the muesli and the sugar and mix through. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the fruit and bake for 45 minutes.

Chocolate, nut and fig cake

This cake is packed full of healthy ingredients and has a minimum fat content. The chocolate used is dark chocolate with a high cocoa solids content, which means it contains plenty of antioxidants. It’s very rich so you only need a small piece and that is the key to a balanced diet – enjoy a little of everything.

Serves about 20
Per serving: 220 kcal, 5g protein, 10g fat, 24g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 100g toasted hazelnuts
  2. 100g toasted almonds
  3. 110g ready-to-eat dried figs
  4. 75g dates
  5. 350g dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids)
  6. 2 tbsp. brandy (optional)
  7. 6 eggs (separated)
  8. 4 tbsp. honey
  9. 50g plain flour
  10. 1 tsp. cinnamon

Method:

Preheat the oven to 140C/gas mark 2 and grease a deep cake tin 23×6 cm. Using a food processor, finely chop the nuts, figs and dates.
Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir until smooth and then remove from the heat and add the brandy if using.
In a large bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with the honey and then add the melted chocolate and nut mixture. Sift in the flour and cinnamon and fold together using a metal spoon.

In a dry bowl whisk the egg whites with a pinch of salt until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold into the cake mixture and then pour into the cake tin and bake for 40-50 minutes. Check the cake is baked through using a skewer. Leave to cool for 10 minutes before turning on to a wire rack.

Poached pear crunch

This is a sweet treat that’s both delicious and healthy.

Serves 1
Per portion: 363 kcal, 10g protein, 9g fat, 63g carbohydrate
Ingredients:

  1. 2 pears such as Comice, peeled and cores removed
  2. 2 peaches, stones removed
  3. Juice of 2 oranges, or 4 tbsp. freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. 1 tbsp. toasted sunflower seeds (or mixed seeds)
  5. 2 tbsp. low fat Greek or vanilla yoghurt

Method:

Cut the pear and peach into quarters and put into a small lidded pan. Pour over the orange juice, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the fruit is soft but not mushy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Place in a bowl, spoon over the chilled yoghurt and sprinkle the seeds on top.