Loukoumades (Greek Donuts)

I love Greek food, it’s very similar to the Persian food I grew up on. Over the past year I was introduced to ‘Loukoumades’, or as I like to call them ‘Little drops of Greek heaven’. They taste like donuts but have a subtle honey glaze and topped with warm melted chocolate they are the absolute perfect treat to indulge in.

Admittedly, these aren’t healthy BUT they are unbelievably delicious! If you fancy treating yourself on your cheat day, you can’t go wrong with these beauties 🙂

Ingredients:

  • 2 (7g) sachets dried active baking yeast
  • 250ml warm water
  • 125ml warm milk
  • 4 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 75g unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 500g plain flour
  • 175g honey
  • 125ml water
  • 1 litre vegetable oil or as needed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Milk chocolate for topping *optional*

Method:

  1. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 40 degrees C. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam. In a large bowl, mix the warm milk, sugar and salt and mix to dissolve. Pour the yeast mixture into the milk mixture and stir to combine.
  2. Beat in the butter, eggs and flour until the mixture forms a smooth, soft dough. Cover the bowl and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 30 minutes. Stir the dough well, cover and let rise 30 more minutes.
  3. Mix honey and 125ml of water in a saucepan, bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Turn off the heat and let the honey syrup cool.
  4. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer or large saucepan to 180 degrees C. Oil should be about 5cm deep.
  5. Place a large table or soup spoon in a glass of water near the batter. Scoop up about 2 tablespoons of dough per puff with the wet spoon, drop it into the wet palm of your hand and roll it back into the spoon to create a round shape. Do not overhandle the puffy soft dough. Drop the dough balls into the hot oil in batches, wetting the spoon each time you make a dough ball. Fry in the hot oil until golden brown on the bottom and roll them over to cook the other side, 2 to 3 minutes per batch. Gently set the loukoumades aside to drain on kitchen towels.
  6. Place the loukoumades on a baking tray, drizzle them with honey syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Serve warm.

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Smoothie Bowl

I put this together after a run one Saturday morning and it really hit the spot and filled me with energy for the day!

Ingredients 

3-5 frozen bananas

Strawberries (amount dependant on colour preference and flavouring)

Fresh blueberries, chia seeds, desiccated coconut, homemade granola cereal OR any toppings! of your choice

Method

  1. Blend the frozen bananas together
  2. Add the strawberries (to taste)
  3. Serve
  4. Add your toppings!

 

Wholewheat Cinnamon Buns

I absolutely LOVE anything cinnamon and there is nothing quite like a warm cinnamon bun *especially* at Easter :D. I went on the hunt for a healthy cinnamon bun recipe and finally decided to go with Jamie Oliver’s maple cinnamon buns with my own twist, all of the ingredients are healthy in comparison to the other recipes I found and I knew they would be tasty!

Ingredients

  • 185 ml unsweetened almond milk
  • 7g dried active yeast
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil , plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g wholegrain flour
  • 160 g plain white flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

And for the filling

  • 90 g pecan nuts
  • 2 ripe medium bananas
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

ALMOND ICING

  • 1-2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 75 g icing sugar

Method

  1. To make the dough, gently heat the almond milk until lukewarm, then combine in a small bowl with the yeast and maple syrup. Set aside for about 5 minutes for the yeast to activate.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir the flaxseed into 3 tablespoons of water and set aside for 1 to 2 minutes.
  3. Melt the coconut oil, then add to the flaxseed mixture along with the flours, cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Gradually stir in the yeast mixture.
  4. Bring everything together with your hands – the dough will feel a bit tacky, but this is fine. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a couple of times.
  5. Place in a greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave somewhere warm to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.
  6. Meanwhile, make the filling. Toast the pecans in a dry frying pan. Peel the bananas and destone the dates.
  7. Reserving one-third of the toasted pecans to one side, add all the filling ingredients to a food processor, then blitz until smooth.
  8. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/gas 4. Grease a 20cm x 20cm baking dish with a little coconut oil.
  9. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough out to 20cm x 40cm. Blob the nut mixture onto the dough and spread it evenly across to the edges.
  10. Roll up widthways (from the shortest edge) tightly into a log, then cut into nine slices.
  11. Place the slices in the baking dish, cover with a clean tea towel and allow to prove for another 25 minutes or until doubled in size. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden and slightly firm to the touch. Leave in the tin to cool.
  12. In a small bowl, mix together the almond milk and icing sugar until it’s thick enough to drizzle over the buns. Chop and sprinkle over the reserved toasted pecans and serve.

Warm Banana Oats (3 ways)

There’s nothing quite like oats in the morning, they’re packed full of fibre and proven to lower cholesterol levels as well as help with high blood pressure! Believe it or not they’re actually great for weight loss too, they keep you full and satisfied for longer preventing unnecessary snacking 🙂

My absolute favourite way to have my morning oats is to simmer on the hob with mashed banana and serve with fresh fruit

All you need is….

Half a banana

Organic jumbo oats

Unsweetened almond milk (or any milk you prefer)

Any fresh fruit topping you fancy

Method

Mix 1 cup of oats with 1 cup of milk

Mash the banana in a separate bowl and add to the milky oats

Simmer on medium heat on the hob for 4 minutes and until light and fluffy

Pour into a bowl and lightly season with cinnamon and topping of your choice

Serve!

One day I was feeling inventive, and cut up an apple, simmered in honey and cinemon and served on top of the mashed banana oats and it was absolute divine!

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Or you can have with a simple bunch of raspberries and its simple and delicious 🙂

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