Three Ingredient ‘Cookies’

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

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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. 



Black Bean Soup

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 Oxo 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)

Chocolate Date Bars

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.


175g stoned dates, chopped
10ml (2 level tsp) plain flour
100g plain chocolate
100g self-raising flour
150g rolled oats
100g light brown soft sugar
175g unsalted butter


  1. Grease a shallow 18cm (7″) square tin (loose-bottomed is preferable) and line base with greaseproof paper.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Cinnamon cashew nut butter

I’ve just made a batch of cinnamon cashew nut butter. This was based on the ingredients list for the previous contents of this jar! Really easy to make (in my Vitamix) and very few ingredients.



200g unsalted cashew nuts
20g honey
20g melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
0.5 teaspoon salt (optional)


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.

Perfect on porridge after a long Sunday run!!

Chocolate coconut energy bites

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).

(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 🙂
8. Wrap individually in cling film ready to take on a long bike ride or run.

Nutritional value per bite (approximate)
kcalories 102
Carbohydrates 18g
Protein 3g
Fat 8g


High carb bars

My husband often uses thousands of calories on a training ride or run, so he needs high carb snacks. For a couple of years now I have been making these – we call them ‘high carb bars’.

The bars are based on certain brand of wholefood bar which conveniently has a list of its ingredients in percentages on the back of the wrapper. These bars are gluten, wheat and dairy free. My variation aren’t necessarily dairy free, as I add chocolate, but they could be.

Five ingredients
Just five ingredients

To make my bars I use a Vitamix. This is a high powered machine which is good at whizzing up stuff. You could also use a food processor. To make the bars without a machine you would just need to bash up the dried fruit, almonds and chocolate in a bowl, perhaps using the rounded end of a rolling pin.


Once all the ingredients are combined, I squish the mixture up together in my hands and then pop it onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and form it into a square sausage.

Square sausage

I weigh it at this stage and because I have already worked out the total number of calories in the recipe, I can work out how many calories per gram. I cut it into 9 or 10 pieces depending on how many calories I want in each piece. For this batch I have cut 52g pieces which are 208 calories and 26g of carbs per slice.

Slices high carb bar
Slices of high carb bar

The beauty of these bars is that they can be taken in the back pocket of a cycling jersey and eaten on the go. To make this easier I wrap them in rice paper.

Wrapped in rice paper


Dried Dates – 180g
Almonds – 100g
Cranberries – 68g
Cocoa Powder – 24g
Dark chocolate – 50g

Using this recipe, the bars are approximately 4 calories and 0.5g carbs per g

(The original recipe used 110g Cashews, but I prefer almonds and I wanted to make it more chocolatey so I added the chocolate. I have used cranberries instead of the original raisins because they have a slightly higher carbohydrate content – the bar is also delicious using raisins).


Mash the dates and cranberries, blitz the almonds and chocolate and add to the mix, along with the cocoa powder – mix with your hands until you have an even consistency. Alternatively add all ingredients to a food processor/Vitamix and whizz together until mixed.  Form into any shape/size bars you fancy.

Take on a cycle ride and boost your energy reserves!

RideLondon 100 (spectator!)

On Saturday we travelled up to the capital for Dave’s second RideLondon 100 experience. As in 2015, we had decided to stay in a London hotel the night before as he had an early start time (07.15) and had to be in the pen an hour before. We had a nice early check-in at our hotel then we had to get across the city to the Excel Centre for registration. Unfortunately there were closures on the Northern Line so we had to use buses for some of the journey. This was not my favourite part of the weekend as I tend to get a little nauseous when travelling this way. Soon we were on the much more pleasant Docklands Light Railway, along with some of the other 26,000 people registering for the ride on Sunday.  The registration process lasted minutes, sign a form, show ID then pick up the race pack. There was the Expo to look around but it was busy and stuffy and Dave soon felt the need for a coffee. I had brought some of my homemade superseed flapjack, so we sat outside, next to the dockside and started on the carb loading (fair enough, I didn’t need to carb load but I felt that I should be sociable).

The Excel Centre is in London’s Docklands which has been hugely regenerated over the past 20 years or so. A couple of years ago Dave took part in the London Triathlon which started here with a swim in the Royal Victoria Dock.

Moody clouds today at the Royal Victoria Dock – see the cable car in the distance

So with registration taken care of we travelled back into London and came across the Women’s RideLondon Classique – which is apparently the richest women’s one-day race in professional cycling. We watched in the Strand as the peloton slowed to take the 180º turn. It was pretty impressive and the support for the event was great. Thankfully it was a dry day as I am sure there would have been some accidents if these roads had been wet.

Taking the 180º in the Strand

It was now time to fuel up some more in preparation for Sunday’s race, so I had a quick check on my phone for somewhere to eat – we needed somewhere that served pasta, and I found a lovely little restaurant on the edge of Covent Garden. Dave had the standard pre-race carbs (mushroom and chicken tagliatelle) and I helped the carb loading (again) with a chicken burger, chips and a cool glass of Italian beer…maybe not so healthy but I did walk over 23,000 steps to earn this!


The journey back to our hotel was a little easier than earlier in the day but we still had to use the bus. We made it more enjoyable by travelling with a three-pack of Magnum Ice creams (double chocolate of course). Dave ate 1.8 and I ate 1.2! 

So with all pre-race preparation done (race numbers attached to bike, helmet and jersey, and sports drinks made up and refrigerated) we had a relatively early night (23.00!) and set the alarms for 04.15. After what seemed like only 5 hours sleep – oh yes, it was only 5 hours sleep, the alarms went off and Dave got into his cycling gear, while I made his pot porridge with sugar and banana. All fuelled-up and raring to go he drove off into the sunrise and I headed back to the joy of my hotel bed for a further 3.5 hours sleep.

With a cycle ride such as this there is really no-point in trying to be a spectator because you are only going to see the person you are supporting once and only for a fleeting time. This is why I felt fine about going back to bed. Dave would need my support later on in the day when I could help him re-fuel and drive him home. So I rose (again) at 08.30 and caught the bus from outside the hotel right into Marble Arch. From there it was just a short walk to The Mall where the race finished. On the way I did a little sight-seeing.

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Marble Arch
Piccadilly Circus

There was great support down at The Mall, just along the road from Buckingham Palace. I wonder if the Queen was looking out of her window at all the activity in front of her house! I got a good spot and started clapping and cheering finishers as they passed. I knew I would have quite a long wait as I was tracking Dave on a phone app. I heard that there had been a crash somewhere along the route that needed the air ambulance so I looked it up on the internet and thankfully he had gone past that part of the course an hour or two before. Thank goodness for portable internet devices! 

After approximately 5 hours and 10 mins the great cyclist that is my husband passed by and I managed to get a couple of pics (kind of), as he raced down The Mall to the finish line.  What a brilliant achievement for him and all involved.

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We had already pre-planned to meet up in Green Park afterwards – It took quite some time for him to get through the finishing funnel and make his way up to me, but eventually he arrived and had a well earned sit-down and piece of cake. Green park was awash with triumphant finishers proudly wearing their medals sharing their race tales with their families and supporters with some even popping champagne corks!

Hey, I’ve just cycled 100 miles. No big deal!

We weren’t staying in the city to see the men’s elite finish as we had a long drive back home and Dave just needed to eat and rest so he made his way to the car park (more cycling) and I caught the tube. Soon we were back on the motorway and a couple of hours later, back home. What a busy and successful weekend and extremely enjoyable for both rider and supporter. Dave tells me the ballot is open for RideLondon 2017 next week and I am sure he will be applying once again.That means another weekend away with lots of walking and lots of food – which is fine by me.