Protein time!

Hello! Hope you’ve all had a great weekend! Smile

Yesterday updates: I baked some more Apple and Cinnamon bread! I love this stuff!DSC03930

Seriously, after having home-made bread, shop bought never tastes half as good!DSC03932

I ended up having a lot of this! I guess something can be said for shop bought, in that portion control is much easier when it’s pre-sliced! Smile with tongue out One of the other snacks I had in the day was this:

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Upping the fat and protein intake! This was leftover from my last Graze box, and I’d actually never tried a brazil nut before…hmmm…DSC03941

….I have to say, I think this is possibly my favourite nut! Yummy! I could eat a thousand of these!

Last night’s dinner was whole-wheat spaghetti, and I used the spinach trick I mentioned a few posts ago:DSC03935

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Then added chopped tomatoes and kidney beans (random, but they’re my favourite bean, so I have them with everything Smile)DSC03938

In other news, I am trying not to consume much soya milk now. Recently I have been having a really dodgy tummy after breakfast, and I think that may be because of the soya milk I have. And that also explains my tummy troubles during my run on Thursday, as I had soya milk about an hour before I ran! So, I am now trying out different types of milk. This week, it is the turn of:DSC03944

Oat milk! It’s no secret that I love oats, so we’ll see if I love oat milk just as much! Lets hope my stomach does anyway! Smile I’m also planning on trying coconut, almond and rice milk, to see which I like the best!

I’ve also ordered this:41b -QxJ4PL

I can’t wait to try this when it arrives! I’ve wanted to try a vegan protein powder for ages, and this was recommended by a friend, so I thought I’d give it a go! But am annoyed, because I literally just saw that they sell it on Amazon for the same price, but with free delivery! I had to pay over £3 for mine, which is quite a lot seeing as it’s only one small item! Annoyed

Tomorrow, I am planning on doing some baking! I’m thinking of breaking open one of the precious remaining stock of:DSC03288

Can’t wait to get my bake on! Open-mouthed smile 

What’s your favourite type of nut? Mine, as I said, is currently brazil I think, but almonds and pecans are pretty darned good too… And do you use protein powder? If so, what kind?

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Bakers love black bananas

This is a fact. Unless of course you don’t like bananas (madness!), in which case you would disagree, but I think practically every other baker on the planet would wholeheartedly agree with this statement. So imagine my joy when I came across this in the reduced aisle at Tesco’s:DSC03748

A bunch of mostly black bananas! Open-mouthed smileDSC03750

And only 32p!!! For  9 bananas! Imagine my joy! My mum’s reaction was one of disbelief/disgust at my delight…she’s not a baker you see Smile with tongue out

So on the car journey home, I carefully examined my feelings. What do I want to make first with these precious bananas? I decided on banana bread. Actually, wholemeal banana-coconut bread to be exact.

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It’s based on the above recipe for wholemeal banana bread that I found in my ‘recipe file’. No  idea of the source, and I’d never made it before (that I could remember anyway!) so thought I’d give it a whirl, with a few changes of course! Smile with tongue out

Wholemeal banana-coconut bread

  • 2 tbsp marg/butter/vegan spread
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used soya milk)
  • 3/4 cup (160g) sugar (I used sweetener, as my mum is diabetic, so I often use this to make my recipes more suitable for her)
  • 1 egg/flax egg (1 tbsp flaxseed+3tbsp warm water)
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1.5 cups (240g) wholewheat plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F, and grease/line your loaf tin.
  2. Whisk flax egg (if using) and leave for 5 mins. Meanwhile, mash your bananas.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Add the butter and sugar and beat till well combined.
  4. Combine flour, baking powder and dessicated coconut, and gently fold in to the mixture. Then add the milk, and fold until combined.
  5. Spoon mixture into your pan, then bake for approx. 45 mins, depending on your oven.
  6. Stand in the tin for 5 mins before turning out on a wire rack to cool fully.

The best bit was obvoiusly mashing the bananas! Smile with tongue out Wanna see some disgusting black banana pictures? You know you want to…DSC03751

The four bananas I used. Not too bad, right? Wrong.

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And those weren’t even the worse ones! Smile with tongue out The lovely mashed banana mess:DSC03758

Lovely, right? And actually, adding the coconut was a bit of a last minute idea, so didn’t add it until the end, so it was harder to stir in properly, without over-mixing the batter, but it still turned out great.DSC03759

Oh, and these are possible the best thing ever invented for lazy people like me who HATE lining tins:DSC03761

Aah loaf tin liners, how I love you! Smile So anyway, after a little too long in my oven (sidetracked by Scrubs Smile with tongue out) the cake turned out a little browner on top than I normally like, but I actually ended up preferring it like this:

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Of course, after letting it cool a little, I dove right in:DSC03776

Mmmm! The coconut was definitely a good decision! Wholesome and filling, so this will make a great snack that will satisfy even a monster sweet tooth like mine Open-mouthed smile

Also baked Garlic and Rosemary bread in my beloved bread machine for my elderly neighbour. Check out this HUGE loaf!DSC03770

Maybe went a little overboard on the size here! Note to self: the ‘extra large’ loaf setting is not an exaggeration! Check out the size comparison:DSC03772

Haha! Open-mouthed smile Sweet little Mrs Raggett is going to have fun with this one! Smile with tongue out

In other news, I found out more about the London Mini Marathon (for under 18’s) I mentioned a few posts ago. It’s a lot shorter than I had hoped for- only 3 miles (I prefer slightly longer distances, where you don’t have to sprint!). When I checked previous race timings, most people had run all 3 miles in sub-8 minute mile pace. Don’t know about you guys, but for me, that is FAST!fullcolour_mini_londonmarathon_jpgresize-3

I would have until March to train, which is when the trials are to qualify…. Can I speed up that much though? I did a 4 mile tempo run today, with my fastest mile at 8.14…

What do you think? It would probably be possible to qualify at a 8 min mile pace, or just over, but do you think it would be possible for me to speed up this much over four months, when my current average running pace is about 8.30?

Advice greatly appreciated! Smile

Mutilated bread

This is what happens when you have a mum that picks at food:DSC03265

Poor mutilated bread! It has chunks missing from it!DSC03264

My mum is sadly a chronic food picker. She also picked all the tops off all the muffins I made on Monday! Annoyed

To make myself feel better, I cut a large slice from the other end, and enjoyed it with this:DSC03266

Oh yes. A Green Monster Open-mouthed smileDSC03268

A great breakfast makes everything better! On the cards today is a run-free day, but I do have an hour and half long badminton session! Also, I am expecting an exciting food  delivery- will show you all this evening (hopefully!) when it gets here! Smile

Have a great day everyone!

Baking mad!

For breakfast today, I was in the mood for a smoothie. One of my lovely breakfast smoothies. Yummy, and so filling Smile  Today’s featured a pear (you could use other fruits if you like- banana, mango, etc), from the beloved farm shop! I chopped off the stem, then sliced it up into smaller pieces and put in a blender. Then added 1/2 cup soya milk, 1/4 cup soya yoghurt and approx 1/3 cup of oats and blended away!DSC03194

Then I added cinnamon (of course) and some xanthan gum to thicken…DSC03196DSC03197

…then finally added about a handful of cereal. DSC03198

Yes, it looks pretty unappetising there, but I think smoothies always do when being made! After a quick blend, I served it.

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It made this large glass and about another half a glass, and really filled me up! The pear made this super sweet and delicious- yay for farm shops! Open-mouthed smile

Lunch was a large salad:

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Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, sweetcorn, grated carrot, couscous, mixed rice with chickpeas etc, beets and a ton of kidney beans.

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The kidney beans were definitely the best bit- I love kidney beans! Open-mouthed smile

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I had a 4 miler planned today, and was all ready for my afternoon run (excuse the seriously blurry photo- was in a hurry!)

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Unfortunately, life got in the way. Was literally on my way out when I got a phone call from my aunt to tell me my uncle had had a heart attack! And whilst running too! Confused smile He’s fine, thankfully, but I had to get hold of my mum and tell her, and then call up the rest of the family and tell them, etc etc. So no run for me today! Sad smile Family comes first! But never fear, I will be doing it tomorrow instead! And, to make up for my disappointment, I baked! What else to do when there is a family crisis! Smile with tongue out The phone ringing kept interrupting me at crucial moments, but I persevered! I have never truly appreciated the wonders of speakerphone until today…

Anyway, I somehow forgot to tell you yesterday about one of my wonderful purchases at the farm shop! Don’t know how this slipped my mind but…DSC03215

Apple and cinnamon bread flour!! Sounds delicious, no? Well I can tell you that this smelled divine, even though it wasn’t even open! If I could’ve eaten that smell…mmm…  Only problem was getting the packet open:

DSC03216They sewed it shut?! A cute touch but not easy to get into!  Once opened though, the smell made me actually want to eat this flour. Seriously.DSC03217So I made it up in my bread machine, and hopefully there will soon be an amazing loaf of apple and cinnamon bread that tastes just as good (or better!) than it smells! Open-mouthed smile

While this was making, I did some quick cooking experiments. I’ve been trying to make my own perfect healthy vegan brownies, from storecupboard ingredients. Today’s batter was beyond-words good. DSC03220

I ate a lot of that. Not my fault- it was for testing purposes obviously! Smile with tongue out And since it was vegan…no egg! And this one was super delicious cos it had Libby’s pumpkin in it! Smile Sadly, it didn’t taste half as good when baked, so my quest continues…

Next up I hear you ask? Well you may remember my lovely bananas I was hoarding specially for baking purposes. This was them today:

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I was going to make some wholemeal banana bread, but couldn’t find my loaf tin in my very disorganised kitchen! So I settled for banana muffins Smile

Simple banana muffins (adapted from a recipe book)

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/3 cup milk (I used soya)
  • 1 flax egg (1T ground flax+3T warm water whisked and left for a few mins) or a normal large egg if you prefer
  • 1/4 cup melted butter/marg/vegan spread or unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour and 1 cup wholemeal flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup natural sweetener)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 180C. Grease/line 10-12 muffin cups, depending on how big you want your muffins. I greased 10, which made 10 fairly large muffins Smile
  2. Whisk all your wet ingredients (mashed bananas, milk, egg, butter/applesauce) until blended.DSC03226
  3. Carefully fold in the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, salt) until just combined- crucial never to over-mix muffin batter!
  4. Divide batter evenly into the muffin cups, and bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. They should be a golden brown colour on top. Then remove muffins from pan, cool on a wire rack, and enjoy!DSC03228

Or do as I did and dive right into them, nice and warm, and ruin your appetite for dinner! Smile with tongue out

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***

Okay, so what you’ve all been waiting for…a bread update! I drafted this post hours ago, but waited to publish it until the bread was done! Smile with tongue out A much bigger loaf than I was expecting, but I’m not complaining!DSC03240

Oh yes. Hello bread.DSC03236

I might have to marry you, you smell so darn good.DSC03239

I will dive in tomorrow for breakfast methinks…can’t wait! Open-mouthed smile

Have a great evening!