Exciting parcel in the post!

I was very excited to get a text this morning telling me that my parcel had arrived. I ordered some things from americansweets.co.uk the other day, and they have finally come! My most exciting purchases are a massive tin of pumpkin puree, and some chocolate peanut butter. Now I just have to choose from the array of pumpkin recipes and decide which one to make with it!

There has been a brown banana on the side for a few days now, so after work I tried out a new recipe, Banana and Peanut Butter Muffins from Rachel’s Favourite Food at Home (a book I got for my birthday to add to my collection of Rachel Allen books!). The recipe needed 2 bananas, 2 eggs, and made 12, so I halved it and made 6. It’s a simple recipe (like all muffins, mix dry ingredients together, mix wet together, mix briefly and bake)- it had oats in it which will add to the texture, plus crunchy PB-mmmm. I used half wholegrain spelt (my fave flour), but otherwise left it the same to see how it would turn out. The mixture made loads and they were nearly spilling out of the cupcake cases, and when they came out the oven they had risen up and flopped over the sides a bit. They smell awesome!

Gosh it has been so hot today. After dinner we went on a walk but it was still so warm out there. I went into the garden and I am so excited- I had to tie up the pumpkin and butternut squash plants yet again as they are trailing all over the place, and the tassles on the sweetcorn are now massive and popping up out of the leaves, whereas before you could only see them when looking down into the plant. I am keeping my fingers crossed still (and also watering them lots). I picked yet more blackcurrants, plus a few strawbs and blueberries (although my blueberry bush last year had loads more on it, not sure why its not producing many this year).

I think for Sunday tea I am going to make a blackcurrant cheesecake; need to find a recipe that doesn’t need baking, as I fancy a cold one (no gelatine obviously)- all my fruit cheesecakes are baked ones. Any suggestions welcome!

I think tomorrow I might take some pics of the garden as it is looking so fab at the moment. Now off for a cold drink!

Two days in one (again)

Well yesterday I had a normal day at work, and then I tried a Meridian Peanut Butter and Oat bar (I got it in the health food shop) which was very tasty. If you have had meridian peanut butter then you would recognise the texture- its very chunky with real lumps of peanut in it (their PB is just peanuts ground up, no oil or anything so it’s quite thick). It is made from peanut butter, oats, honey, molasses and maybe something else (wrapper in the bin now!) and was filling and tasty, although you could taste the molasses it wasn’t too overpowering. It was about 200 cals for a 50g bar, over 6g protein and some healthy fats in there too. Yum.

I was going to have a long run, but I was busy at work and had more to do at home, so I whizzed out for a speedy short run (the quick route in my quickest time yet, under 26 minutes) before dinner. I had fresh corn on the cob which was so tasty; I do hope that I get a cob from my garden but at the moment there are just tassles on the plants.

I did my work until half 9, so that was the day gone!

Today it’s been another busy one at work; I got to meet my new class today which was fun. I am off to the gym in a bit so hands up for guessing my post body-pump snack of choice (hello 9 bar).

I might make some more fake frozen yoghurt too- I am thinking of trying frozen raspberries with chocolate (don’t think I have tried this combo yet), should be good.

Hug a Fruit!

Well some of you may have noticed that a while back I posted about healthy fats, as part of chocolate-covered-Katie’s Hug-a-fat month. Well it’s back, this time it is all about hugging fruit.

Well this one is easy for me! We need no reminding as to why fruits are so good for us- fibre, water, vitamins, anti-oxidants and countless other micro-nutrition elements that have yet to be discovered. Plus they are amazing! Such variety, colours, textures, flavours that I defy anyone not to like any fruit.

Even listing my favourites takes ages; I love mangoes, pineapples and papayas for a tropical treat. I love blueberries, strawberries, raspberries and nectarines for a taste of summer. I love dark cherries for a total treat! I love kiwis for a filling addition to lunch. I love crisp crunchy apples for a refreshing change. Or an apple sliced and spread with some peanut butter (more fat lurve) or some other nut butter. I love pears (from a tin even) sprinkled with cinnamon. In the winter I love clementines- that orange smell is delicious. I didn’t even mention bananas- they are my staple on holiday when I am hungry! Plus they are so good in Rachel’s banana bread mmmmm. I love fruit as an addition to a sandwich- PB and apple or PB and banana are so good! Apple and cheese is a fab combo too.

I even like some dried fruit (although only the kind without sulphur in it)- raisins go so well in porridge, dried cranberries go so well in cookies with white chocolate, dried mango is so good. I like the graze boxes because you get a little punnet of dried fruit with nuts too, so it’s not a total sugar high like it can be on its’ own. (Plus if you go to www.graze.com and enter this code KKJX34JF you can get a free box- bonus!)

I love fruit on its’ own. I love fruit with yoghurt. I love to make fruit into a smoothie. I love an apple with muesli and milk. I am getting addicted to fake frozen yoghurt (whiz up frozen fruit with a choice of yoghurt, soya yoghurt or custard- in the photo it is frozen raspberries blended with chocolate soya). I love it in things like muffins, pancakes, sauces (for a treat though not every day!). Fruity cheesecakes are delish.

So there you go- hug some fruit! But be careful especially if it is an over-ripe banana as it might go a little squishy.

I am still deciding what to do with my blackcurrants. I am thinking some kind of cheesecake as something about the tartness of blackcurrants goes well with the creamy mixture. May make some kind of cheesecake mix and cook the currants a bit as a kind of sauce, maybe some granola instead of the base? I had better decide soon before they go funny!

Today this is the fruit I have had (to keep with the theme)- raisins and apple at breakfast (see pic above), raspberries, strawberries and nectarines at lunch and cherries in the evening (I spread the pics out to make it look pretty).

Beside the fruit I have been to aerobics which was nowhere near as hot as last week, been to work, and watched some football. Cool.

Mostly about food!

Not much to report today, it’s been a busy one. So I will report on my food as I haven’t been on a run today.

I had some tasty basil tofu for lunch, in a wholemeal muffin with some tomatoes. I have not had that for a while and it’s making a nice change. I also had a lovely fruit medley for lunch (strawberries and raspberries from boyfriends’ parents garden, plus a nectarine)- so so summery. I also had a mini apple pie Nak’d bar for a snack, and a lovely 50 minute walk before dinner. Dinner was a sort of Mexican bean wrap- onions, chilli and kidney beans cooked and mashed, with red pepper, corn, tomato puree, then baked in a wrap in the oven, sprinkled with cheese and served with a salad (topped with some flax oil- I’m upping those omega 3’s).

I have ordered some pumpkin puree from Americansweets.co.uk (they do grocery items as well as sweets!), as I have a few delicious looking pumpkin recipes (bread, cupcakes…) but you can’t seem to get it anywhere in England. I will be super excited when it arrives, the only problem will be which recipe to make!

I haven’t been out I the garden yet- might pop out in a bit.

Garden excitement

I had my usual pre-run breakfast of cornflakes and raisins, and headed out at about half ten. I wasn’t sure how far I would go, because it has been so warm and it was heading towards midday. But in fact there was a strong breeze which helped keep me cool. I headed up to the lakes, ran around them both, then up in a loop around the park and back around one of the lakes. At one point I have to cross a narrow bridge and when I got to it there was a big white goose there, but I was going too fast so I ran past it with my arms high up (it seems nearly as tall as me- at least it could get my fingers) and luckily it didn’t seem bothered. In the end I did just under 7 miles in 67 minutes and I really enjoyed it. Although I liked training for the half marathon, at the moment I really enjoy 6-8 mile runs, as they feel like I have done some “proper” exercise, but not so far that they wipe me out for the rest of the day.

Once home and stretched I had some Graze Bounty Hunter mix, which is coconut cubes, cranberries and chocolate drops. I had a shower but I was still hungry so I had a delicious lunch; a carrot and apple muffin (made these back in May and froze some) which I warmed in the microwave and spread with smooth peanut butter, a massive bowl of strawberries, raspberries, yoghurt and a sprinkle of treacle granola, some hazelnuts and a glass of coconut water with pineapple. A very fruity lunch indeed!

I also had a walk and was surprised how warm it was even thoiugh the breeze has really picked up and dark clouds were blowing over.

I made some cupcakes for tea later- Black bottom cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery . These are a dark chocolate cupcake marbled with a vanilla cream cheese chocolate chip cheesecake mix, and they were so good! I had one after tea today- delish. The chocolate cupcake is very dark and rich, which is a good contrast to the sweet cheesecake swirl. A fab post-run treat.

I have also been so excited about my garden. I went out there this evening and have collected my first “wave” of blackcurrants. Seriously, last year I got 6 or 7, but this year it has got massive and there are loads of bunches hanging from it. Now I need to decide what to do with them- any ideas?

I have also found some tiny green tomatoes on the tomato plants, some tassles on the sweetcorn, and a few more little courgettes. The pumpkin plant has grown all over the other plants (I did tie it to some canes but it has gone crazy) so I have tied it up some more, and also tied up the butternut squash plants as they are getting tendrils so they seem to be climbers too.
It is looking great out there at the moment; all this sunshine has been doing them the world of good.