This recipe makes 20 snack sized bars. These can be stored in the freezer to keep them fresh – they don’t really freeze completely so you can remove one from the freezer and eat it within minutes! Perfect to go with mid-morning coffee. There are recipes here for two varieties – one is made with puffed rice cereal and has a white chocolate topping and one is made with chocolate puffed rice cereal and has a milk or plain chocolate topping. They can actually be made with any combination of these ingredients.
I always try to use either homemade peanut butter or shop bought that is 100% peanut – no added oils or sugars. If you only have sweetened peanut butter I would suggest reducing the amount of honey.
Recipe 1 – White Chocolate
40g puffed rice cereal
80g salted peanuts
240g unsweetened peanut butter (or half and half with another nut butter)
Over the past few weeks I have made three different variations of these cookies. They are delicious and fantastic with a cuppa any time of the day. I have to admit they are also pretty calorific, but any weight gain will be shed hopefully in the late summer months when we are all allowed outside again.
I have been making this recipe for many, many years on and off, and if you like a gooey cookie then this will be perfect for you!
I am pleased to say that all three of my sons have also been baking these recently with varying degrees of success. Harry seems to have mastered the recipe and I think he is basically living on cookies. He also knows the recipe off by heart which indicates to me that he’s used it a lot 😉
85g unsalted butter/cooking marg/plant-based spread
(I have been using the plant-based spread and it works brilliantly) 85g caster sugar
85g soft light brown sugar
170g self-raising flour
Dash of vanilla extract
Pinch of salt (not necessary unless you have used unsalted butter) 100g chunks of chocolate
Options – the chocolate can really be anything, I have made these with chopped up Cadbury Dairy Milk, Fudge, Twirl, plus basic range chocolate from the supermarkets. Try to have a mix of big chunks and smaller chunks. You can use more than 100g if you want more chunks in each cookie. If you don’t have both types of sugar this will also work with granulated sugar. Of course you can use chocolate chips if that’s what you have.
Cream the butter and the sugars with the vanilla until light and creamy
Beat in the egg
Fold in the flour and salt (if using)
Add the chunks of chocolate and stir in well
Prepare several baking trays with parchment paper
Add overloaded teaspoon size blobs of mixture to the trays – space well (see picture) because the mixture will spread
Bake at 170ºC (Fan) for 10 minutes – do to overbake. The cookies will still be soft. Gently pull the sheet of parchment onto a cooling rack without moving or touching the cookies
Allow to cool before moving the cookies. Then make a cup of tea and enjoy!!
I’d love to know if you make these and how/if you have adapted the recipe. Please let me know in the comments.
Peal the fruit and stew until soft – stew for less time if you would like chunks of fruit intact in your cake. Allow to cool.
Add all ingredients to your bowl/mixer and blend until smooth, add the fruit and combine until smooth (unless you would like your cake with a few chunks of fruit intact – though this is not necessary and blending it completely makes a deliciously moist cake).
Add mixture to a lined spring-form tin and bake at 150C (fan) for approximately 40 minutes.
There are lots of recipes around for these cookies, so I have just taken a ‘mean’ of them all and have come up with this one that seems to work. The three ingredients are always available in my house, and these can be thrown together and baked in 20 minutes.
Really they are more like an oat cake than a cookie – but I suppose if you made them smaller and squashed them down they could be more cookie-like. I prefer the larger version.
They are especially great for those of us who do a fair bit of exercise, oats and bananas having excellent variable energy releasing properties – to keep you going through a hard workout or for some instant energy pre-workout. The chocolate element just makes you happy throughout!!
160g Porridge Oats
90g Plain chocolate, chopped into small (or chunky) pieces or choc chips, or milk chocolate or in fact any chocolate you have lying around!
200g (peeled weight) ripe bananas, mashed
Mash the bananas, add the oats and mix well, add the chocolate pieces and mix.
Make 9 equal balls of mix and press onto a parchment lined baking sheet
Bake for 15 minutes at 180ºC. Cool on cooling rack. Eat immediately or at your leisure!
Each cookie – approximately 140 calories, 22g carbs and 2.6g protein.
There’s nothing like a warming bowl of soup for lunch on a cold, wet, drab winter’s day. With it’s mixture of spices and nourishing legumes, this soup will certainly take away the chill.
Black beans are very good for you with their high protein and fibre content – so not only does this taste delicious, it also has health benefits!
300g Dried (no-need-to-soak) Black Turtle Beans (700g when cooked)
2 Small red onions, chopped (approx 180g)
2 Carrots, diced (approx 230g)
2 Sticks celery, finely chopped (approx 60g)
1 Tablespoon rapeseed oil
1 Chicken stock cube**
1 Beef stock cube**
1 tin Chopped tomatoes
1tsp Ground Cumin
1tsp Ground Coriander
1tsp Mild Chilli powder
1tsp Crushed chillies
1tsp Garlic granules
1.5 litres of water for the black beans
1 litre of boiling water for the chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper
1. Add 1.5 litres of cold water to a large pan along with the beans and bring to the boil.
Boil rapidly for 10 minutes, then turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour – making
sure to check that the pan does not boil dry. (Alternatively follow the instructions on
the pack or use 700g (drained) tinned beans).
2. In a large pan, heat the oil and sauté the vegetables until they start softening.
3. Add all the spices and cook through for a minute or two.
4. Add three quarters of the beans and the stock plus some salt and ground black pepper
and simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Use a hand held blender and whizz up the soup to the consistency that you prefer.
6. Sprinkle on the Oxo cube and mix thoroughly.
7. Add the remainder of the beans and simmer for a further 10 mins.
8. Adjust the consistency with water if you would like a thinner soup.
9. Serve with some crusty bread and butter.
If you’re interested, a 300g bowl of this soup is approximately 150 calories! Enjoy!
**(This can be made vegan if the stock cubes are substituted)
I have just found this recipe in an old book of Dave’s – it’s the 1989 ‘Good Housekeeping – Complete Book of Home Baking’, which he bought when he was making a lovely loaf of bread every weekend. Back in the day when we only had one small baby to feed, and a loaf of homemade bread lasted longer than ten minutes!! I wish I had seen this recipe before as it is a perfect carb hit for the runner/cyclist.
This bar uses dates which are very sweet, so I am sure it could be made with less sugar. Also, the butter, hmm… well that’s why they are so delicious, however I’m sure you could substitute with coconut oil if you were so inclined.
This version makes 12 pretty large slices, which are approximately 310 calories per slice and 38g carbs.
Grease a shallow 18cm (7″) square tin (loose-bottomed is preferable) and line base with greaseproof paper.
Put the dates, plain flour, chocolates and 150ml water in a small saucepan and cook gently for 5 minutes until the chocolate has melted and the mixture thickened slightly. Leave to cool
Mix together the self-raising flour, oats and sugar and rub in the butter. Spread half of this mixture over the base of the prepared tin, pressing down well. Cover with the cooled date and chocolate mixture, then the remainder of the oat mixture. Press down slightly.
Bake in the oven at 180ºC for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. Cool in the tin for 15 minutes then mark 12 fingers. Allow to cool completely in the tin before slicing.
I’ve been busy lately – I have been a little involved with Wotton parkrun! Well that is a slight understatement, and although I don’t like to think parkrun has taken over my life, it has just a bit!! Last Saturday we held our half-birthday run. It’s hard to believe that a whole 6-months has passed since Wotton parkrun #1, and what a great 6-months of parkrunning and volunteering we have experienced.
We decided to celebrate this milestone run with fancy dress and many runners turned up in an amazing array of costumes. We also held a cake sale in aid of Wotton Community Parc (where we hold our parkrun). We had a great turnout of 130 runners who were very generous when buying the cakes afterwards.
There was a fantastic atmosphere, everyone ‘enjoyed’ their run and luckily we had sunny (if a little chilly) weather. Wotton parkrun seems to be enjoyed by all who attempt it, whether local or all the way from South Africa or Australia. It has been challenging over the winter months with some very muddy days, but now it’s dry and the Community Parc is looking green and beautiful.
As I mentioned in a previous blog post (parkrun comes to Wotton), Wotton parkrun is an off-road course with a mixture of grass, grassy tumps, muddy puddles (in winter) and a couple of gravel tracks. It’s a very interesting course and has been referred to by some as the Wotton ‘butterfly’ due to the nature of the route. In honour of the Wotton butterfly, I made a parkrun celebration cake.
I volunteer almost every week at the parkrun, and a couple of weeks ago I joined the 25 volunteer club – to celebrate I ran as tail runner and made cakes for all the volunteers! My husband also reached the 25 volunteer club on the same day, so it was a double celebration. Any excuse for cake!!
Add cashews to Vitamix (or other powerful food processor), blend until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix to a butter-like consistency. You can add more or less coconut oil, depending on what consistency you prefer.
Why buy expensive over the counter ‘energy-balls’ when it is so easy to make your own. I made these for the first time this evening and they are absolutely delicious.
The recipe is one from Cycling Weekly magazine and adapted slightly (of course).
Ingredients (makes 16 bite size balls)
150g oats 100g dates 75g coconut oil 60g honey 30g almond butter 25g desiccated coconut 20g cocoa powder 1 medium egg 1 tbsp peanut powder (optional) pinch of salt
1. Chop the dates into tiny pieces or whizz up in a food processor 2. In a saucepan melt together the honey, almond butter and coconut oil (you can also melt in a bowl in the microwave) 3. Stir in the cocoa powder and coconut 4. In the food processor/mixer or just a normal bowl, mix together the dates, the beaten egg, the saucepan contents and the oats (+pinch of salt) until thoroughly bound. 5. Shape into 1″ balls (approx 31g each) and place on a baking tray – on a sheet of baking parchment or greaseproof paper. 6. Bake at 180ºC/170ºC fan for 15 minutes. 7. Allow to cool then taste one 🙂
Nutritional value per bite (approximate) kcalories 102 Carbohydrates 18g Protein 3g Fat 8g
On Saturday I volunteered as Tail Runner at the 4th Wotton parkrun. Our new parkrun started in October and has been very well supported from the beginning. This is essentially a cross-country course, mostly on grass with a couple of gravel tracks. It is about as rustic and rural as they come! I have only ever run off-road on one previous occasion – and that was at last weeks parkrun!! I treated myself to some trail running shoes because I was conscious that I would need more traction especially in muddy and icy conditions. These trainers were definitely needed today as it was 1ºC when we got up this morning and we had both mud and ice.
Volunteers are the key to parkrun and a trusty band of new and regular volunteers began to turn up around 08:30. The parkrun course takes in two laps of the Wotton Community Parc and the furthest corners take quite a while for the volunteers to reach, so when setting up all hands are very welcome.
The air was pretty cold and the grass was covered in frost. The scene looked beautiful actually and as I happened to have my camera with me I took some rather moody photographs.
As 9am approached runners started to arrive. Those who had not done a parkrun before and those who were new to Wotton listened to a new runners briefing – this explains the course, the timing procedure (using barcodes) and lets people know about any problems on the run such as mud and ice (we had plenty of that this week). We also welcomed representatives from Wotton Lions Club who were presenting us with the new defibrillator that they have kindly donated. Lets hope we never have to use it – it’s great to have this piece of invaluable equipment available for all who use the Community Parc.
As Tail Runner it is my job to run at the back (or walk as necessary) and keep behind or with (and chat to) the last person taking part. I enjoy this volunteer role because I still get to run but it is usually at a nice leisurely pace and I get to meet interesting people. This week I was running for a while with a dad and his 5-year old son who was really enjoying his run, and was determined to get to the end for his sausage buttie treat. Then I ran with a lovely lady who was doing her first Wotton parkrun, but not her last I suspect, as she was local to the area. Like me, she had lost a lot of weight through running and was determined to keep it off and stay fit and healthy. We finished in a very respectable 42 minutes.
By 09:50 everything was cleared away and we were on our way back home for porridge.