Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Gluten Free, Egg Free Blueberry Muffins

These blueberry loaded, amazingly fluffy gluten free muffins are so easy to make! I've been slacking the past few weeks when it comes to Gluten and so I've had to battle the bloat that little bit harder the past few days, which has been unpleasant to say the least. Gluten is one of my worst triggers and I tend to consume it in very small portions to avoid abdominal pain, nausea and bloating. All you IBSers know what I'm talking about. So, I'm starting a new week as I mean to go on with these Gluten free, Egg free Blueberry muffins. We have lots of blueberries in the fridge so I might as well put them to good use. These muffins are soft and tender on the inside, nutritious & 100% drool worthy.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Sweet Potato and Banana Muffins (Gluten free, No added sugar)

No mess and quick to make, these Sweet Potato and Banana Muffins are quite the combination. They are slightly fluffy and moist with no added sugar, their sweetness is from bananas and of course sweet potatoes. This is a great way to cut down on sugar intake and also to get the kids to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Probably one of the easiest, healthiest recipes I've ever done, they are made with no oil or butter. Just thought I'd let the natural ingredients do the talking for a change. The festive season is just around the corner so it's only inevitable I'd be going through quite a lot of mashed starches. I'm talking butternut squash, pumpkins and of course sweet potato. All you need is a blender, prepared baking tin and one hell of an appetite.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Brioche Toast Three Ways

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day; the possibilities are endless and that my fellow beings is what I live for. Brioche bread is a light type of bread; one that's very rich and undoubtedly delicious. Its 'pillowy' interior is what makes this bread so special, of course it makes an exceptional breakfast candidate. As for the toppings, fruit is always a great idea. Eating fruit on an empty stomach allows the digestive system to break down the sugars in the fruit quickly allowing us to get the complete nutritional benefits. Fruits are a great source of antioxidants, Vitamin C and Fiber. It's nearly the end of October. That means Christmas is just two months away, where has this year gone? I didn't see it. 

Sunday, 22 October 2017

Bella Italia Cardiff, Old Brewery Quarter Review

And the best tasting, most reasonably priced Classic Lasagna award goes to Bella Italia! Located in the centre of Cardiff, Bella Italia offers great food at reasonable prices. Here's one that won't break your bank. The restaurant is just a stone throw away from St Davids shopping center and is located within close proximity to a variety of coffee shops, bars and cinemas. Their menu offers a wide array of choice from pastas to pizzas as well as gluten free options, authentically Italian food. It's the perfect place to stop over for a quick bite before catching a movie with girls. 
I rarely ever eat lasagna and it's not because I don't like it but because its not exactly at the top of my food priority list. The main contributing factor for this is extra sogginess. I've tasted a fair few soggy lasagnas in my time, ones that can't stand up to portioning and as soon as you dip your fork in, they collapse into a soupy mess. Having had a little faith in Bella Italia, I dived right in. My lasagna was served piping hot and was absolutely delicious. Even though the food was great, what made the meal was the staff, excellent customer service can go a long way and that is what truly made our day. This is truly a pleasant place to dine.

Friday, 20 October 2017

Chicken and Sprouts Stir Fry

Having submitted my first Dietetics assignment yesterday, I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting into the swing of things. Even though my social life seems to be fading away, I'm thoroughly enjoying the course, taking in as much information as possible and getting to know new people. So, here's to me surviving my first month as a Dietetics student! Now lets focus on what's important, this Chicken and Sprout Stir Fry. I eat with my eyes before my mouth which is one of the main reasons why I make such  colourful dishes; with the acceptance of my fondness for vegetables of course. This is super easy, effortless and quick to make. This stir fry is low in saturated fats and sugars, with a medium amount of salt. The funny thing is there is actually no added salt used in this recipe, just herbs and spices. This just goes to show how unnecessary it is to add salt into food. I'm just a simple girl who likes easy, straight-forward recipes so when you're tired, stir-fry. Why not start by trying this one?

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Douwe Egberts Smooth Caramel Coffee Review

When opened; a pleasant, strong scent fills the room and there is nothing I'd like more first thing in the morning. This is the only coffee I truly enjoy; my only bother is that the whole family including some of my friends love this coffee which means it vanishes rather quickly. Maybe I should consider writing up a very colourful 'do not touch' label. I am in no way, shape or form a coffee addict, in fact I hate coffee but it just so happens that this is the only one I can drink. Have you tasted it? It contains very few calories and so it can be enjoyed guilt free. Douwe Egberts smooth caramel coffee tastes fantastic. With its warm, creamy flavour and gorgeous aroma, you'll be sure to keep going back for more.For instant coffee, Douwe Egberts' smooth caramel coffee is rather pricey but for the joy you endure from one sip, it is totally worth it. Strong flavour that's not overpowering, genius! The container is so cleverly designed that after your coffee is finished, you can rip off the label and use it for spices. How resourceful.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Spinach & Cucumber Breakfast Smoothie

A quick and easy way to get in essential Minerals and Vitamins is by whipping up this refreshing, filling Spinach and Cucumber Smoothie. Spinach is number one on my list of vital vegetables and this because it's high in Vitamins A, C and K, as well as B vitamins.  Cucumbers on the other hand are an excellent source of vitamin K and Pantothenic acid. I presented pantothenic acid in bold to emphasise just how important it is. As well as playing a role in the break down of carbohydrates and fats for energy, pantothenic acid aids in the manufacture of red blood cells. Cucumbers are also a good source of copper, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, biotin and Thiamine or Vitamin B1. This green nutrient powerhouse is one of the best ways to start off the day. However, juicing has a downside and it awakens the Dental Nurse in me, yes that's my day time job. Juicing is really bad for your teeth and this is due to the presence of Fructose in just about every fruit out there. The high acid content causes the enamel on your teeth to soften and erode and this often leads to the formation of cavities and tooth decay. Top tip: use a straw to drink your green juices as this allows the acid to bypass your teeth. It's about creating a balance, that contact with your teeth can be detrimental. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

*Free & Easy Organic Three Bean Chilli

Living with dietary restrictions such as allergies, IBS, Coeliac and other food intolerances is not easy; it can be a huge challenge which is where this new 'Free From' range comes in. Last week I received a lovely package from Healthy Food Brands Ltd containing different foods from this new range to try. As you can imagine, its quite the treat as I have completely cut down my gluten intake due to my IBS so thank you to the team at Healthy Food Brands Ltd. So what is this free and easy range about? Created by a group of specialist chefs, the Free and Easy range consists of soups, ready meals, sauces, curry pastes, cake mixes and much more. These foods are made without artificial additives and preservatives,; they are also Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Nut Free, Wheat Free and Soya free. Did I mention they are also suitable for vegans and vegetarians? Well, it is. Tonight, I tried their three bean chilli with a side of brown rice and my goodness, I wasn't disappointed. Rich in flavour and ready in just 3 minutes, the free and easy range presents ideal, nutritious dishes fit for the whole family. 

Saturday, 7 October 2017

*Coedffranc primary community family room// Aviva Community Fund

In association with Aviva Community Fund 2017

Wouldn't it be nice if every school in the UK offered a place for parents to receive advice, support and information that contributed to their well-being? The Aviva Community Fund which launched on the 12th of September can help make this possible. If there is a project in your local community that you are extremely passionate about, why not try and secure funding to put towards that important cause, following in the footsteps of Coedffranc Primary School. Over the last year, Coedffranc primary school has been running a family room after being awarded funding through the Aviva Community Fund in 2016. This buzzing hub of engagement, education and activity has become an important part of life for the entire school community and families. The funding helped the school to purchase everyday objects that help in the running of these classes making an extraordinary difference. So what exactly is the Family room? The family room is a free program run by members of staff providing a variety of courses including Cookery and Healthy Eating, Food Safety, Parent Nurture Programmes, Paediatric First Aid, Butterfly Project and Childcare Level one to parents and children. Even something as simple as Family learning together sessions are offered which gives the children and their families a chance to explore and grow together by visiting different places like Margam Park. These different courses are crucial to health, for example Food Safety. It is important for parents and children to understand how their behavior, hygiene and handling during food preparation affects the safety of their food as well as gaining confidence in the kitchen. These things may seem fairly obvious to some but when the education is there at your disposal, why not take it? We all know that we need to eat a balanced diet but how many of us actually know what that means? This is where Coedffranc Primary School's healthy eating classes come in. These classes allow children and their parents to put the nutrition education they learn in class to the test in real life situations. This also encourages the children to make better food choices as they grow up and this education leads far beyond the classroom.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Rye Bread in Two Ways

Who loves breakfast? I do! In today's society, a lot of people tend to skip breakfast because of  their busy lives, time doesn't seem to be on anyone's side. Still, I believe breakfast should not be skipped. When you have breakfast, it will keep you going until lunchtime and you are less likely to snack on those good looking biscuits stirring at you from the corner of the office. The EatWell guide was updated this year and it shows the different types of foods and drinks we should consume as well as the proportions so as to have a healthy, balanced diet. Maybe print out a copy and stick it on your fridge. Its a great way for the whole family to get acquainted with The EatWell guide. Anyway, I've gotten extremely fond of Rye Bread lately and so I've been getting experimental as always. Sweet and Savoury is my favourite breakfast combination ans so today, these two little numbers are gracing my plate. Simple and quick to prepare, not to mention nutritious, these can easily become a grab & a go breakfast.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Grilled Curried Mackerel

Mackerel is one of the most consumed fish all over the world and just so happens to be one of the healthiest when baked, steamed or grilled. It's packed with a high amount of protein, omega-3-fatty acids and lowers risk of diabetes. Mackerel contains healthy fats including monounsaturated fatty acids which play a role in controlling blood sugar levels and prevention. These are just some of Mackerel's health benefits, there's more. Have a read of different Dietitian blogs and health and well being websites; they provide an insight into food science and it's a big ol' world. 
© Pocket-sized Cook. Design by Fearne.