Tag: nutrition

Sweet Potato Pancakes

It’s nearly Pancake Day and I’ve been avidly testing out my pancake recipes. Actually, who am I kidding? I love pancakes and we eat them nearly every weekend!   While plain pancakes are great, I love adding different ingredients to them to give them a […]

Autumn Pumpkin Waffles

I’m still on a pumpkin kick, adding it into as many dishes as possible to fully capture that lovely autumn feeling. They’re such an amazing vegetable, full of energy producing B vitamins, immune boosting zinc and fibre for your digestive system. And the seeds are […]

Cinnamon Pumpkin Pancakes

pumpkin cinnamon pancakes and coffee

I love making pancakes on the weekend. Something about the ritual of measuring out the ingredients and gently stirring, folding and mixing them all together is so calming to me.

 

My son loves his weekend pancakes and I now have the challenge of creating new recipes to keep things fresh and exciting and educating his palate with new flavours.

 

It’s fall and the shops are replete with pumpkins, which made me feel a bit homesick. Actually, I’m pretty sure the homesickness started around Canadian Thanksgiving when M made a butternut squash and pumpkin pie to celebrate. Nevertheless, I put together this pumpkin pancake recipe to celebrate this amazing ingredient.

 

pumpkin cinnamon pancakes

What you need:

180g chestnut flour (you can also use wholemeal flour instead!)

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 large free-range eggs

250ml almond milk (or organic whole milk, if dairy works for you)

3 tbsp fresh pureéd pumpkin

1 tsp ground cinnamon

10-15g melted butter

 

How to make it:

  1. Sift the chestnut flour, baking soda and cinnamon into a medium sized bowl and stir until the ingredients are combined.
  2. Crack the eggs and separate the egg yolks and whites, setting the yolks aside.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they are frothy. This is key for really fluffy pancakes!
  4. Slowly fold the milk into the dry mixture, then add the egg yolks and pumpkin.
  5. Add the butter and stir.
  6. Slowly fold the egg whites in the mixture until the egg whites can no longer be seen. Do not over fold!
  7. Leave the batter to stand for at least 10 minutes so the milk and baking soda have enough time to interact.
  8. After 7 minutes, warm up your cast-iron pan on medium heat. After a few minutes, add a tablespoon of your oil of choice and make sure the bottom of the pan is completely covered.
  9. Turn the stove down to medium-low heat. Cast-iron pans conduct heat really well, so a little heat goes a long way.
  10. Use an ice cream scoop to drop the batter in. I like to make pancakes on the smaller side so they are easier to flip.
  11. Once bubbles start to form on the edges of the pancakes (normally after a minute or so), flip them over. Chestnut flour tends to cook a bit faster than wheat flour so you’ll need to keep a close eye so they don’t burn. I learned this the hard way!
  12. Once you’ve made all your pancakes, top with the toppings of your choice. I like toppings such as fresh fruit, compote, dried coconut, chopped nuts and cacao nibs.

How can I make Autumn meal planning and preparation easier?

I was recently asked to share my top tips for Autumn health and wellness with Motherhood Reconstructed. I love what Tamu and Leah are doing to share diverse stories of motherhood in the UK. Go check out their site and events!   The kids are […]

Stories I loved this week.

How’s your week been? We’re in week 3 of the new school / work routine and we’ve finally started to find a new rhythm. And autumn looks like it’s finally here. Let squash season begin! My recent yoga challenge has opened me up to what […]

How much water do you drink a day?

richmond bunting

Conventional wisdom suggests that we should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day, or about 1.5 – 2L. How much water do you drink a day?

For a lot of people, even drinking a litre of water a day is tricky. When I first my husband, he didn’t drink any water, but insisted that his 8 cups of milky, English Breakfast tea met his daily water requirement. I took me a while to convince him that tea is a diuretic 😳.

One thing to consider is that if you’re already eating a good portion of fruit and vegetables a day, you’ll also be getting the water in the produce, along with the fibre, micro and macronutrients too.

Some fruit and veg contain more water than others.

For example, 1 medium sized apple contains 86% water, whilst a slice of watermelon (the clue’s in the name!) is 97% water. Courgette, radish and celery are 95% water and cauliflower, peppers and spinach are 92% water. To contrast, a banana contains 74% water.

So if you’re eating 7 to 10 portions of fruit and veg a day, do you also need to be drinking 8 glasses of water a day?

As ever, it’s important to consider how you feel on an individual level and listen to what your body is telling you.

In general, if your pee isn’t clear or a light straw colour, then you probably need to up your water intake either through food or water itself. If you’re eating lots of fruit and veg that are high in water content and you’re still thirsty with dark pee, then you probably need to up your water intake. If you’re very active or outside on a hot day, it’s probably worth increasing your water intake.

Just as you can drink too little water and end up dehydrated, you can also drink too much water and end up with something called hyponatremia, where the cells become completely waterlogged, throwing the sodium-potassium balance in the cells off, which can be fatal. So the moral of the story: observe your body’s signs, consider how much fruit and veg you eat a day and tailor your water consumption to your own lifestyle and thirst.

And a note of caution: excess thirst can be a sign of diabetes, so if you’re experiencing this, I highly recommend going to see your GP.

How much water do you drink a day?

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Alcohol and anxiety.

It goes without saying, but of course I’ll say it anyway: Everyone’s anxiety manifests in different ways and you might be that unicorn that reads this and says, eh, this isn’t relevant to me. Great! I applaud you!   For everyone else: let’s have a […]

What I’m Reading: Anxiety For Beginners

In my usual pre-flight mad dash through the airport, I did a sweep of WH Smith for my standard holiday pile of magazines (I find reading fashion magazines like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar so relaxing on holiday! I don’t really know why, though? 🤔) and […]

I Tried It: Whole30

springtime at kew gardens

I haven’t felt like writing much about food and nutrition recently. There’s been a lot going on, personally and professionally. New job, a heavier course load at school and loads of political distraction (every morning, I wake up and think, ‘what now?’. Don’t you?). It’s times like these when it’s tempting to throw everything to the wind and drink and eat whatever I want.

After some reflection, it truly feels like an act of subversion to take care of what you put in your body, to nourish yourself with intention. Small acts of subversion matter, more than ever.

To me, it feels subversive now to give a shit about the things I put in my body, to take care not to treat it like a garbage can. To eat organic, to be mindful about the type of meat and fish I buy, to really think about the amount of sugar my family consumes.

There are so many (things) trying to grab me away from eating well; from working long hours, cartoon branded food grabbing my son’s attention while shopping, my own yearnings and desires.

I have been doing the Whole 30 this month, in an attempt to get myself back on the right food path. Not that I was eating particularly badly. I just found that I was eating without thought or intention and letting my cravings drive my nourishment. And I tend to crave things like sourdough pizzas, greasy, salty fries and sharp, cold ice cream. All washed down with lots of red wine and gin and tonics.

So I embarked on a Whole 30 as a bit of a reset. 30 days, lots of vegetables, high quality meat, nuts, seeds, fish and fruit. This is my fifth time and it’s like riding a bike. I’ve internalised the rules and know what works and what doesn’t work for me.

And this time, I’ve really enjoyed it. My cooking has improved, so I’ve enjoyed being creative within the parameters of the regimen. And I’ve enjoyed having to be a bit more intentional with my food. The health benefits are there too: I can think more clearly, I don’t get as tired, my anxiety has improved.  Being alcohol-free has made my mornings easier too.

Have you tried a Whole 30? What was your experience?

Sweet Potato Sliders

This weekend, I really fancied an open-faced sandwich, but had no bread in the house. I shuffled through the cupboards and found a bag of sweet potatoes and decided to see what sweet potato ‘bread’ tasted like. Stay with me… it was pretty good.   […]

I Tried It: Dry January

Have you ever done a dry January? After a heavy November and December, I decided that I needed to give my body a break and get on the wagon for a month. And what better month than January, when everyone’s skint, partied out and needing […]

The Easiest Frittata Recipe

easy-frittata-hot-out-of-the-oven

Aside from their significance as a major plot point in the Harrison Ford – Rachel McAdams film, Morning Glory, frittatas are one of those recipes that everyone seems to have their own little twist on. And why not? Their versatility means that even the newest of cooks can make a lovely frittata.

 

What you need:

At least 10 large free-range, organic eggs (the more eggs you use, the denser the frittata will be – no bad thing!)

Vegetables of your choice – I chose 1 cup of collard greens and 1 tomato for my version

Protein of your choice – I used 1 cup of diced chorizo in this recipe, but have also liberally used shredded pork, chicken and beef, as well as many varieties of cheese in the past

Chopped herbs of your choice – I used 1 sprig each of fresh thyme and rosemary

Salt and pepper

1 tbsp olive oil

Non-stick pan

Oven

 

How to make it:

1.  Break all the eggs into a bowl and beat them together, until all the yolks and whites have combined.

 

2. Add your chopped veg, protein and herbs to the egg mixture and stir until everything is combined.

 

3. Turn on your oven to 175C.

 

4. Add the olive oil to your non-stick pan, making sure that there is a light coating of oil across the pan and turn on the stove to low-medium heat.

 

5. Pour the frittata mixture into the pan, stirring so that all the veg and protein ingredients are evenly distributed. Use the tomatoes to create a nice pattern on the top of the frittata.

 

6. Leave to cook for 5 minutes or until the edges of the frittata start to crisp up.

easy-frittata-cooking-on-the-stove

7. Remove the pan from the stove (not forgetting to turn it off!) and place it into the warm oven. Let it cook for 20 – 25 minutes, or until the frittata is firm to the touch and there are no runny areas around the top.

 

8. Remove from the oven. Using a pallet knife or something similar, lift around the edges of the frittata so that it is easy to slide out of the pan, on to a plate.

 

9. Let cool for 5 minutes and enjoy!

easy-frittata-ready-to-serve

Just eat more vegetables.

People like shortcuts. Maybe it’s a symptom of our modern world, where we can get pretty much anything we want at the touch of a button.   Speaking of shortcuts, I’m often asked by friends, family and colleagues about the fastest ways to get healthy […]

Food is food – nutritious, cheap and tasty.

This week, a prominent doctor in the UK talked about the need to reduce the 5-a-day fruit and vegetable intake recommendation because it was ‘unrealistic’ for low-income families to achieve this. She says that lots of families may struggle to afford the recommended amounts and that […]

Chestnut and caramelised apple and pear pancakes


I’ve been on a massive pancake kick recently. It’s probably because I associate pancakes with the comfort food of my childhood and right now, I seem to like the idea of getting a bit of comfort through food. Analyse that how you will.

 

Other foods in my comfort food list include French toast, macaroni cheese, spaghetti, roast chicken, chocolate cake, reuben sandwiches, guava duff and conch fritters. Every time I eat any of these foods, I get a burst of nostalgia and craving for the comfort of family and friends. What feelings do comfort foods give you?

 

I’m sure there’s lots of science behind why we choose particular foods as our designated comfort foods – the dopamine hit that these carbohydrates, fats and sugars give us, along with the soothing levels of satiety, probably give us the first hint!

 

Do salad or fruit ever factor into someone’s definition of comfort food? I would like to meet you if this is you!


As part of my pancake kick, I’ve been trying to create more nutritious versions that give you all the comfort with all the healthy benefits. And I love these chestnut pancakes. Adapted from an old recipe for Italian chestnut flour crepes, I love topping them with caramelised fruit. Recently, I’ve been doing a mix of pears, apples and plums – generally going for whatever is seasonal.

 

What you need:

Pancakes

180g chestnut flour

1/4 tsp baking soda

2 large free-range eggs

250ml organic whole milk / almond milk

Caramelised fruit

2 small apples / pears

a pinch of cinnamon

a tab of unsalted butter

 

How to make it:

  1. Sift the chestnut flour and the baking soda into a medium sized bowl.
  2. Crack the eggs and separate the egg yolks and whites, adding the yolks into the dry mixture.
  3. Whisk the egg whites until they are frothy.
  4. Slowly fold the milk into the dry mixture, then add the egg whites.
  5. Fold the mixture until the wet and dry ingredients are combined. Do not over fold!
  6. Leave the batter to stand for at least 10 minutes so the milk and baking soda have enough time to interact.
  7. Chop the fruit into small wedges.
  8. Put a small non-stick pan on the stove on low-medium heat and add a tab of butter.
  9. Once the butter starts to bubble and go brown, add your fruit and cinnamon.
  10. Stir your fruit occasionally and remove from heat once it has gone soft and a bit sticky.
  11. After ten minutes has passed, put another non-stick pan for your pancakes on low to medium heat so it has time to warm up.
  12. Once your pan is warm, use an ice cream scoop to drop the batter in. I like to make pancakes on the smaller side so they are easier to flip.
  13. Once bubbles start to form on the edges of the pancakes (normally after a minute or so), flip them over. Chestnut flour tends to cook a bit faster than wheat flour so you’ll need to keep a close eye so they don’t burn. I learned this the hard way!
  14. Once you’ve made all your pancakes, top with fruit. You can also add raw cacao  and enjoy!