Healthy Banana Oat Muesli Bars

This is our go-to, easy and delicious muesli bar recipe, which is great for healthy snacks, lunch boxes and even for a yummy evening treat with a cup of tea.

They are perfect for using up any bananas that are a bit too ripe. You can add anything you like really. We like ours packed with fruit, nuts and seeds so that’s how we came up with this recipe, but you can adjust quantities to your taste.

healthy muesli bar 1

Ingredients

3-4 ripe bananas

2 1/2  cups of traditional rolled oats

1/4 cup shredded coconut

1/4 cup finely chopped dried dates

1/4 cup diced dried apricots

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup almonds, finely chopped

2-3 TBS pepitas

2 TBS chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)

3 TBS Rice Malt Syrup (optional) or you could use natural honey or maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 160-180 degrees. Grease a square slice tin and line with baking paper.
  2. Mash bananas until smooth. Add all other ingredients (ensure your almonds, dates, apricots are finely chopped). Stir well and mix until well combined. Spoon into prepared slice pan and use back of spoon to press down firmly in pan (this ensure it slices well once cooked).
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden. Allow slice to cool before cutting into small bars (sometimes we can’t wait that long and slice it anyway as we like our first piece still warm hehe). Serve.
  4. Store in airtight container in the fridge.

healthy muesli bar

Enjoy xx

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Book Review : Clean Food – Clear Thinking

I was asked to review the health and wellness book, Clean Food – Clear Thinking written by Naturopath Karina Francois. I was thrilled to be sent a copy as I love reading everything about health, wellness, nutrition and mindset. I was a bit slow getting around to it due to my Personal Training business really picking up and getting busy now that it is spring, but boy I’m glad I made time to read it over the last few weeks!

Clean Food -Clear Thinking by Karina Francois

Clean Food -Clear Thinking by Karina Francois

Karina Francois is an international author, entrepreneur, leading health expert and Naturopath and this book really outlines how you can achieve optimum health through nutrition which leads to happiness in other areas of your life.

The book starts with a great overview of the basic foundations for healthy living and explains nutrition and cellular needs, including easy to understand information about Protein, Carbs and Fats for our bodies. It then goes on to explain everything our body needs for optimum health. There is a fantastic chapter on detoxification, digestion and food sensitivities which I found really interesting, especially as our 1 year old daughter has a rare food intolerance called Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES). I am constantly researching and making it my mission to find out everything I can about this condition and raise awareness, so it means I have become much more aware of food sensitivities etc.  I have become a sponge for information on this topic and it has become a bit of a passion of mine, hence why I am also currently studying my Diploma of Nutrition and Dietetics for Personal Trainers!

Part 2 is all about Mindset – Psychology of Health Management. This is really interesting stuff and goes into great detail about the brain and making health management and weight loss management a life change. Once again, this is a topic that I really love and it really helps in my field to have a good grasp on it as it is something I deal with in my clients. I promote a holistic approach to health, wellness and fitness and I truly believe that it needs to be a lifestyle change and something that you can easily adopt and carry with you throughout your entire life.

It then goes on to a fantastic section all about self image, self esteem and discovering your ‘why’. There are some great self esteem builders, affirmations and assessments and checklists to keep you on track and understanding a lot more about yourself and your self image. This is something I really got a lot of benefit from and it something that you could keep going back to over time! A lot of the content and philosophies are in line with my own so I will be able to use a lot of the information with my clients which is fantastic!

The final part is recipes and meal plans. Now, I LOVE a good cook book and a new recipe and this book does not disappoint. There are some awesome and simple recipes in this book and the thing I like the most is they don’t contain a thousand ingredients that you will probably never use again. They are easy to follow and perfect for health conscious, busy families. A few of my favourites include the healthy muesli bars, banana loaf, zucchini, carrot and walnut bread, kale and mushroom frittata and the flourless chocolate cake/muffins.

Delicious Healthy Muesli Bars - Recipe from the book

Delicious Healthy Muesli Bars – Recipe from the book

If you are looking to change your habits, lifestyle, mindset and health and really achieve optimum health then this is a great book to help set you on the right path! I would highly recommend it and I really enjoyed reading it.

Let me know if you have read any good health and wellness books lately that I should check out.

Check out my facebook page here

Enjoy xx

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip Recipe – I Quit Sugar

I always feel so prepared and organised when I make these overnight oats. Plus they are delicious. This recipe is actually from the I Quit Sugar Cookbook, you can adapt or change it to your liking, but I love it just the way it is. It makes 2 serves.

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip - source I Quit Sugar

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip – source I Quit Sugar

Carrot Cake Porridge Whip

Ingredients

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 TBSP chia seeds

1 1/2 cups coconut milk (or any kind of milk)

1 tsp natural vanilla extract

1 large carrot, finely granted

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground ginger (I don’t usually use this)

pinch nutmeg and sea salt

1/2 frozen banana

2 TBSP crushed walnuts

2 TBSP coconut flakes

Yoghurt or whipped coconut cream with additional walnuts and coconut flakes or sugar free granola to serve.

Directions

Blend the oats, chia seeds, milk, vanilla, carrot, spices, salt, banana and the walnuts and the coconut flakes until smooth. Pour into two jars or containers with lids. Leave to soak overnight in the fridge, with lids on.

overnight oats blender

overnight oats jars

In the morning, top with yoghurt or whipped coconut cream, granola and additional walnuts and coconut flakes.

overnight oats coconut cream

Totally delicious, easy to prepare and make and it means you don’t have to think about breakfast the next morning. You could make a double batch and have breakfasts for half of the week. I often do a batch on Sunday night so breakfast is sorted on Monday and Tuesday morning and I start the week off prepared and healthy!

There are so many varieties of overnight oats, if you have a great one you would like to share, head over to FitM.U.M Facebook page and share it with us.

Enjoy xx

FitM.U.M – A day on my plate (limiting processed carbohydrates)

After feeling very average for a few weeks (due to increased ‘winter’ carb consumption) and experiencing bloating, cramping, feeling sick and decreased energy levels, I decided to try and go without processed carbohydrates, mainly bread, pasta, crackers, porridge and things I was eating too much. I found myself in a downhill carb spiral and the more I was eating the more I would crave it. These foods weren’t filling me for long either so I was eating a lot more in a day and because I am busy I started opting for quick, easy options like toast, crackers, even crumpets!!! I knew I needed a break to detox my body and hopefully loose the bloated feeling and the cravings. I also knew this was probably going to be hard! Today was day 4 and I have actually surprised myself at how well I am doing and more so how good I am feeling. What a difference. I am beginning to plan my snacks and meals better again and ensure that I have healthy options on hand so I’m not tempted by quick fixes. For me, it is all about being organised and prepared. If I don’t feel like it is an effort, I am much more likely to succeed once I’ve put my mind to something. Here is how my day on a plate looked today.

For breakfast I had eggs, with avocado and cherry tomatoes. I have had this twice this week (once with the addition of mushrooms too) and it fills me for longer than high carb breakfasts which I like as I am busy in the mornings and hate feeling hungry straight after I eat. I had one cup of Green Tea with lemon with this. I always start my day with Green Tea. eggs breakfast Friday’s are one of my busiest days for Personal Training and business so I ate my morning snack in between clients. It was a mix of raw almonds, cashews and cranberries. I knew I would be out a lot so I made sure I packed my container with me to snack on. I also drank 1L of water before 11am.

Lunch today was a bit out of the ordinary for me as I needed to fit in my long run (14km) so I had a smoothie. I usually have smoothies as a snack or breakfast rather than lunch but it worked well today and filled me up as well as being a great post run drink. smoothie lunch Dinner tonight was my delicious dairy free low carb Vegetable Frittata. I had a productive day yesterday and made this yummy Frittata, the eggs make it high in protein. fritatta dinner I had quite a bit of interest yesterday’s post on my FitM.U.M Facebook Page about the Frittata so I promised to share the recipe. Now, I actually didn’t follow a recipe, I just knew what vegetables I wanted in it and that I need dairy free so I made it myself and it worked very well and tasted delicious, if I do say so myself. Obviously, you can choose your preferred vegetables and you can also add cheese etc to it to make it to your liking.

FitM.U.M’s Dairy Free Vegetable Frittata

Ingredients

1 medium sweet potato (cubed)

1 red onion (diced)

1 medium zucchini (diced)

8 cherry tomatoes (cut in halves)

100g baby spinach

100g premium lean leg ham, chopped (alternatively you could use bacon or omit all together for vegetarian option)

6 mushrooms (thinly sliced)

8 eggs

1/4 cup oat milk (use any milk you like)

1 TBSP minced garlic

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 185 degrees.

2. Whisk eggs and oat milk with a pinch of sea salt

3. Heat Pan or skillet and add garlic, sweet potato, mushrooms, onion and zucchini with a pinch of paprika and ground pepper. Cook for 5 minutes until vegetables soften. fritatta prep 4. Add whisked eggs and stir through

5. Add baby spinach, ham and cherry tomatoes and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for only a minute until spinach wilts slightly.
6. Pour into baking dish and bake in oven for approx. 30-40 minutes or until eggs are set and it is brown on top. fritatta raw 7. Remove from oven once it is cooked and let cool in baking dish and slice when cool fritatta slicefritatta cookedI have drank 2.5L of water today which helps curb cravings. I also made a little ‘clean’ sweet treat to enjoy tonight as I have been very good this week and not indulged, so I thought being a Friday night, why not!!! It is just banana and strawberries with my mix of peanut butter/cacao chocolate. Extremely Yummy and I am literally enjoying them now with a cup of Peppermint tea. treat treat 1 I hope this has provided a little insight into my low processed carb detox that I have been doing this week. I can honestly say I am not bloated or sick after I eat and I felt great on my 14km run today! This is not a long term elimination, I am planning to slowly introduce carbohydrates (such as rye bread, mountain bread, porridge) I will just limit them and only eat them in small quantities.

For those who are interested, I will keep you updated how I go! Follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see my workouts, food and recipes and our busy but active life as a family of 4 in Adelaide!

Enjoy xx

Blueberry, Chia & Banana Pancakes – The Healthy Chef

This healthy, yummy recipe is from The Healthy Chef (I love her recipes) and I am definitely going to give these a whirl in the school holidays. They not only look like a fantastic breakfast, but also a great kids snack (please note there is a nut free version too). You can also add protein to these if you wish. They will make a delicious family brekkie!

Photo Source: The Healthy Chef

Photo Source: The Healthy Chef

Blueberry, Chia & Banana Pancakes

Makes 6 pancakes

Ingredients

100 g (1 cup) ground almonds ( see notes on nut free and high protein option )
1 tablespoon chia seed – or ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250 g  – 2 ripe bananas, smashed
2 free range eggs
125 g blueberries to serve

Directions

Combine smashed banana and eggs.
Add almond meal, linseed, baking powder and cinnamon.
Fold in blueberries if using.
Rest for 5 minutes.
Heat a pan over a low heat and add a little coconut, macadamia  or olive oil.
Spoon pancake batter into rounds onto the pan and flatten slightly with the back of your spoon.
Cook over a very low heat. Take your time and don’t rush.
Flip over and finish cooking.
Serve and enjoy with natural or coconut yoghurt.

Recipe Source: www.thehealthychef.com

Energy Bars and Banana Oatmeal Cookie Recipes

I’ve been looking for tried and tested recipes for a good energy bar for awhile now and I couldn’t go past Lorna Jane’s Nourish Cookbook for the out-the-door energy bars! I have adapted the recipe to suit our family as we like dried fruit in our snacks aswell as nuts. So please be aware that this is not taken directly from the cookbook. If you prefer it without dried fruit, just omit it. I usually play around with recipes and add extra things we like.

Energy Bars

Makes a yummy afternoon tea full of protein and energy

Makes a yummy afternoon tea full of protein and energy

Ingredients

1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)

1 cup almond kernals

1 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

1/2 cup organic coconut oil

1/2 cup raw honey

2 free range eggs

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup cacao nibs

2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup goji berries

2 TBSP chia seeds

1/3 cup pecans

1/3 cup diced dried apricots

1/3 cup dried cranberries

*optional* 1/2 cup protein powder

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees fan forced. Grease and line a square cake tin.

2. Process all ingredients (except goji berries, apricots and cranberries) in food processor until combined but still coarse. Then stir through goji berries, apricots and cranberries.

3. Press mixture firmly into tin, sprinkle with extra toppings of your choice (I used desiccated coconut and cacao nibs) and press down again.

4. Bake for about 30 – 45 minutes or until browned lightly (you may need to cover with aluminium foil if it is becoming too dark on top). Cool in pan before cutting into bars.

I store in fridge in an air tight container so the bar stays firm and hold together.

Straight out of the oven before slicing

Straight out of the oven before slicing

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

Recipe by The Healthy Chef

banana oatmeal cookies

Ingredients

1 large ripe banana (mashed)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup desiccated coconut

2 TBSP ground LSA

1/2 cup raisins or cranberries (I used cranberries)

1/4 cup honey or natural maple syrup

1/4 cup coconut oil

(My extra additions were 1/3 cup cacao nibs and 1/3 cup diced dried apricots)

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees (fan forced).

2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together well with your hands, squeezing mixture together until it starts to bind.

3. Form into approx. 12 cookies (depending on desired size).

4. Flatten slightly then sprinkle with extra rolled oats or coconut.

5. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Cool and enjoy!

Store in an air tight container.

Hopefully you enjoy these recipes and they might be something you can add to your range of snack options! I am constantly looking for new snacks we can enjoy during the week.

xx

Fruit & Nut ‘Chocolate’ Recipe FitM.U.M Style!!

It’s no secret that I used to be a little bit of a chocoholic (before I went dairy free… more about that here). I thought my world was going to end when I had to give up regular chocolate, but what I didn’t know was that since finding Cacao and making my own chocolate, I have never looked back. I can’t even remember the last time I had any ‘normal’ store bought chocolate, it would have to be at least 6 months ago!

Looking for a little occasional sweet treat, myself and Irondad tried our hand at our own chocolate recipe. We have adapted it a bit along the way (usually each time we make it) so the quantities are a bit of a personal taste thing – I don’t claim to be a top chef. Feel free to play around with it and adapt it to your own taste (let me know if you find a winning combo!).

choc sliced

Fruit & Nut ‘Chocolate’ Recipe

Ingredients

6 Tbsp (heaped) Organic Crunchy Peanut Butter

4 Tbsp (heaped) Organic Coconut Oil (very soft to runny)

4 Tbsp Rice Malt Syrup  (Alternatively you can use Honey or Maple Syrup, which ever you prefer)

2 1/2 Tbsp Raw Cacao Powder

1 tsp Natural Vanilla Extract

Pinch of salt (I use Pink Himalayan Rock Salt)

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/3 cup diced dried apricots *

1/3 cup dried cranberries *

(*we like ours quite ‘fruity’ so you could add a little extra of both)

3/4 cup dry roasted almonds, roughly chopped

3/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped

(you could use any nuts you prefer – this amount makes it quite chunky)

shredded coconut flakes for sprinkling on top

Directions

Place all ingredients (except for the nuts) into a medium mixing bowl and mix until well combined. Then stir in the chopped nuts, this will make it quite thick.

Roughly chop the nuts

Roughly chop the nuts

choc before

Mix until well combined

Pour mixture into a loaf tin (I use a silicon one and it pops straight out easily once frozen)

Sprinkle desired amount of shredded coconut over the top.

choc in mould

Pour into silicon loaf tin

Place in the freezer to set. I leave it for a few hours as I like it really cold and firm. The longer you leave it in there the firmer it will become.

Once it’s ready I slice it into either cubes or slices depending on the size you want and then store it in an air tight container and leave in freezer as it melts very easily at room temperature.

choc block

Cut into desired size pieces

choc after

choc cuppa

Enjoy with a nice cuppa

Enjoy and good luck not wanting to eat the whole batch in one sitting!

xx