Healthy fats

Healthy fats;

I was reading on another blog (www.chocolatecoveredKatie.com – she makes some tasty looking recipes) about celebrating healthy fats during her so-called “hug-a-fat” month. So I have decided to rave about one of my favourite healthy fats…..you guessed it- peanut butter!

Peanut butter does contain fat, but the huge majority (80%) is unsaturated and it has no trans fat at all! Some research has shown that the fats in peanut butter also help to lower blood cholesterol levels.

As well as all those good fats which are great for skin, hair, nails, it also contains Vitamin E, folic acid and niacin. As vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin it only appears in fats, and needs fat to be absorbed by your body. So it is a win-win situation!

Now although I love PB as it is healthy, I mainly love it because it tastes so good! I love it in cookies (replace butter with PB for delicious cookies- see my previous review on the best recipe), I love it in PB&J sandwiches (or wraps), I love it on a crumpet (maybe with a dollop of cherry spread too), I love it in Trek peanut butter bars, I love it in home-made cereal bars, I love it spread on a pink lady apple….

I love peanut butter!

So there is me hugging (well, raving about) my favourite fat! Hooray for hug-a-fat month!

Coincidentally (actually not quite) I had for lunch hazelnut butter on wholemeal bread (also some good fat so it links that way!).

I am so glad it is Friday, I have an 11 mile run planned tomorrow, but the route I did last week I didn’t really like so am going to be getting on www.mapometer.com to plan a new one.

Randomly I was sent a coupon (for my birthday) from Alpro soya. I have no idea how they knew it was my birthday, I must have signed up to something before. Anyhoo, I got some of those dessert pots (like custard really) as I have tried the yoghurts before and am not keen on the weird flavour- can’t put my finger on it but they tasted strange. So I have a new fave dessert; one pot of dark chocolate Alpro, 80g blueberries (on reflection cherries would be nicer but I had blueberries) and half a pack of Bear Granola Nibbles- Cocoa Cherry Pie flavour. It was so delicious, the granola added the perfect crunch, chewy bits of cherry added a nice chewiness and sweetness. I also have the apple crunch flavour which I think would be lovely with the caramel dessert, and maybe a cooked apple too.

My plans for the weekend (once I have done my work) include more planting, a trip to London and maybe some oatmeal raisin cookies.

Veggie friendly foods

Hooray! My order from ethical superstore turned up today; the millet and quinoa flakes look good- plus lots of protein = veggie friendly. I was thinking of making a muesli blend, but they can also be used warm as a rice-pudding style dessert. Definitely one to try! I also got some cacao nibs (am really looking forward to trying them) and some Divine chocolate covered mango. I have had this already so I know how delicious it is! In addition I had some Meridian Morello Cherry spread (it’s like jam but no sugar, only fruit cooked in apple juice); this is my favourite addition to a PB&J sandwich/ wrap/ crumpet. One blob of peanut butter and one blob of cherry spread on whatever you want! Seriously try it, it’s amazing (incidentally this was my lunch today in a little tortilla wrap, along with cinnamon pears and a yoghurt).

After work I went to get my hair cut (no body pump tonight as the instructor is away- boo), whoops I had not had it cut in months and months! After that I popped to Waitrose to get a few bits. I love their frozen butternut squash- I know it’s lazy to not chop it up myself, but seriously how do people do it? I would quite like an electric carving knife for pumpkins alone, as I always feel like I am about to be on casualty and chop my hand off. I have read to stab them a few times and then microwave to soften the skin. Well that would be OK if I could actually pierce the skin!

So the frozen ready peeled stuff it is for me!

I also got a few other tasty nibbles (pink lady apples were on offer- yay), some boxes of granola bear nibbles (have only got these in Boots before) and some treacle and pecan granola which looks amazing- this will be a post-run snack I feel.

I got home pretty late so have been updating the photos on here (takes me a while to add them to my recipes) and pottering about.

I really do need this weather to warm up; my courgette plants are huge- the window sills all look like jungles and need to get outside into some space! I have heard that the weather this weekend is going to be nicer so hopefully summer is around the corner.

I was reading that soon it is going to be National Vegetarian week, and I often get asked (well usually as soon as people find out I am veggie) why I am vegetarian. I also get offered fish a lot, and no that would mean I would be a pescatarian. It is a bit late now to explain it all, but I will later. I will say that I am not interested in “converting” anyone else, so don’t worry I am not going to become all preachy.

Friday tomorrow yeah!

A super easy fudge recipe! Plus you guessed it, more running!

The other day I did make some white chocolate fudge, and I didn’t have time to post about it! Poor fudge, it must feel left out, I hope the cookies aren’t laughing at it.

The recipe was from Home Cooking , and I would normally shy away from a recipe like that because it involves scary sounding things like “the soft ball stage”. But now I have a sugar thermometer the world of sweets is my oyster!

The recipe was super simple; sugar (nice brown sugar), condensed milk and butter. Heat it all up, stir it about, then take it off the heat and beat. Now on the TV show Rachel puts the pan in the sink and beats it by hand. No thank you! I got out my electric hand-held whisk thing, and used that instead. Genius! It worked a treat! Once done I poured half in the tin, sprinkled on some white chocolate chips, poured the rest over and left to cool. It is so yummy! The stuff I took into work has already disappeared, we still have some in our fridge but I am sure it won’t last long! I am not sure that the photo does it justice as I am not much of a photographer. But I really recommend the recipe.

Today was medium run day; I am now close to the next colour level on Nike+. Not sure what will happen when I get up to the next level, but it is quite exciting nonetheless! After an Apple Pie bar (cinnamon=yum) I headed out. I kept my fingers crossed and it stayed dry the whole way! After the hail and rain of this afternoon I was super surprised. I didn’t take any water with me because I keep getting a stiff shoulder and I am sure that even though it is a proper runners holdy-water bottle thingy, it still makes me run a little wonky. So when it is hot or I am doing a very long run I will take it, I have decided to see if I can manage without on shorter runs.

In the end I managed my loop in 61 minutes, my fastest time yet so I am pretty pleased.

I am now one mile away from the next colour level; so close! I have a long one planned for Saturday so am preparing to smash through the barrier!

Just a quick run/one

Hello! Just time for a quick one.
After work I had a scrummy little Apple Pie Nak’d bar for an energy boost, and it must have worked as I managed 3.2 miles in 32 minutes! A super speedy time for me, especially with the wind blowing me back in some places. I had a little bit of time pottering about on the nike+ website and trying to figure out how to map my run; at the moment can only find runs that other people have mapped. I didn’t have long as I was out for dinner, so I am sure when I have more time I can work it out. That’s all for this evening…

What to eat after a run, and the best chocolate cookie recipe ever!

So after yesterday when I was thinking about recovery foods after running, I decided to dig out the article from “Women’s Running” magazine. I don’t normally keep magazines but I do sometimes cut out useful articles to keep. I think putting it on here will mean I can refer to it when I have forgotten. The list includes:

Flavoured milk; apparently it shows better muscle recovery than a specific sports drink (why oh why did I try that SIS banana stuff yesterday when I had Nesquick powder in the cupboard?).

Yoghurt; a 4;1 ratio of carbs and protein which apparently is ideal for recovery.

Cereal bars containing oats (hello Nak’d bars). I would not normally choose a conventional cereal bar as they have more sugar and less protein, but I suppose with milk or yoghurt alongside they would be ok.

Bananas! It recommends having it with milk or yoghurt, but I think they are so good as the carbohydrate is quickly released to boost your energy again. It is normally the only thing I fancy after a race. The thought of a banana was in my head after mile 10 of my half marathon!

Raisins; because of their carbohydrate level. I think that they would be ok after a short run but after a long run I would need a bigger snack than that!

Blackberries; they contain vitamins C and E to help muscles recover (again it is suggested to have them with greek yoghurt as on their own they would nbe providing carbs but little protein).

Nuts; lots of protein, fibre and vitamins E and B to help you recover. Maybe nuts with raisins would be a better combo as then you have carbs and protein together (like a punnet from a graze box).

They also suggest rice cakes with peanut butter (that magic 4;1 ratio again) but I do not like rice cakes- they stick to your tongue! Also pancakes and baked beans are suggested (no not together that would be gross!) but I would not go for any of those options.

So I am going to be good and refer to my list to see which foods work for me. I have often been having a banana along with a cereal bar and sometimes have a graze punnet (usually dried fruits with nuts) so I suppose I am naturally choosing some of those good foods.

Today I made another recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery book ; double chocolate cookies and I think this has to be the best ever recipe for double chocolate cookies! The recipe is mostly chocolate, which you melt with a teeny bit of butter, then you whisk eggs and sugar, mix with the chocolate mixture, stir in flour (I used wholegrain spelt flour again) and more chocolate chips (I included some white chocolate too). The mixture went really runny and spread all over the baking tray but when they came out they looked amazing- just like the picture. I always like it when a recipe turns out how it looks in the book- it shows that the recipe is easy to follow. They are very chocolatey, chewy and delicious. Yum yum yum.

I also had a walk to stretch my legs as they were feeling a little stiff this morning after yesterday. I might make some fudge to take to work, so if I do I will be sure to say how the recipe went.

Now am off to enjoy the rest of Sunday!