Courgette muffins

These taste much better than they sound, honest! 

My parents had a glut of courgettes in the garden, as ever. Some of which were the size of a baseball bat, almost. And my dad thought I’d appreciate a whole carrier bag full of them. Plus a punnet of tomatoes and an even bigger bag of runner beans. Anyone want some beans? I don’t think I can make cake out of them….

What do you do when your dad gives you courgettes? (After grill them, fry them, and make ratatouille…) Make courgette muffins! Of course. 

Added bonus, kind of by accident, these are also vegan! No, I’ve not “gone vegan”, but I know someone who has, so these are for Harriet, enjoy! 

  
  
Adapted from an Avel and Cole recipe, makes about 9 or 10.

  • 100ml olive oil
  • 50g sugar with stevia, or 100g caster sugar
  • 1 mashed banana (nice a ripe)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 250g plain flour 
  • 1tsp bicarb of soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Approx 200g grated courgette 
  • A handful of raisins/sultanas or nuts
  • A little honey

Preheat the oven to 180’c, or 160’c for a fan oven. 

Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cases.

Whisk olive oil, sugar, banana and cinnamon together. 

Siever in flour, bicarb, baking powder. Gently fold together. Carefully fold in courgette and raisins and/or nuts. Don’t over mix.

Divide the mix between the muffin cases, just to the rim on the tin. Dot tops with nuts, if using. I topped with sultanas, but you just end of with slightly burnt sultanas on top. 

Bake for 25 minutes. Drizzle a little honey over them when you take them out of the oven. Alternatively spread a little left over buttercream (from your fiancée’s 30th birthday cake….). Or both! 

Will keep for 2-3 days in an airtight container. 

Chocolate chip cookie dough protein balls

I still don’t totally believe that these are healthy, but it says it on the internet so it must be true. 

The protein in these comes from protein powder. Now I am not some muscle building gym freak, but I do use SIS Rego protein drink after exercise to help my body recover. It’s amazing. Also the whole SIS range is vegan, win! So I used some vanilla flavour in these. The rest of the ingredients are basically just almonds, chcocolate and maple syrup. What’s not to like? 

  
  
This recipe is from Daily burn and I have just converted it into grams. I also used their photos as inspiration. 

For the nut butter – 200g almonds. 

Ok, beginner’s guide to nut butters. You will need:

  1. Nuts
  2. Food processor
  3. Patience (quantity dependant on the power of you food processor)
  4. Coconut oil (optional, dependant on your amount of ingredient 3.)

Process:

  1. Put nuts in food processor
  2. Turn on
  3. Scrape down the sides occasionally if it all builds up and doesn’t move
  4. Leave it running! It takes. Ages. Once it starts to make a ball you are getting there. Some people say you don’t need to add any other oils, but I often give up and put half a teaspoon of coconut oil in just to help it along. 

You’ll need most of this in this recipe, you’ll have a bit left for spreading on your toast:)

For the protein balls

  • 125g almond butter
  • 100g ground almonds
  • 2 scoops, 40g vanilla protein powder
  • 40g dairy free chocolate chips or coarsely chopped dark chocolate
  • 60ml maple syrup

Mix together the ground almonds with the protein powder in a medium bowl. 

Add the almond butter and maple syrup and mix together.

Add the chocolate and mix again. 

Use a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop up dough, then press/roll into balls. 

Keep in the fridge and try not to eat them all! 

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Shiny little rocks

I was going to share a rather self pitying post about the realities of IBS, but my boyfriend has interrupted that. 

Well, not boyfriend any longer: fiancée :) 

  
Yup he got down on one knee and (finally) asked me to marry him. We’ve been talking about our wedding for months now, and I was getting just a teeny bit impatient to actually start planning it. I didn’t think he would ask me so soon and in such an impromptu way (at home, just before we had dinner!) so he still managed to surprise me with that! 

I won’t get too gushy on you, but I really am very lucky to have someone who not only puts up with me, but encourages me, pushes me, supports me and above all loves me. If it wasn’t for him there wouldn’t be a CakeyKate, after all. 

It is so cheesy, but every time I look at the ring on my finger, which happens a lot, I am reminded of what we have together and a little bit of joy bubbles up. Not to mention my ring is so. darn. pretty! 

So I hope you can all take a little time to think about the people who matter to you; appreciate them and let them know you love them too. 

And buy a bow tie for your cat.

Chocolate seed bar

Have you ever had a 9 bar? It’s made of 9 seeds and topped with a carob layer. It’s really yummy. And dairy free. 
I know I am a bit late to the homemade protein/energy bar bandwagon, but I’m jumping on! We’ve started training for the London Ride100 (a 100 mile cycle challenge from London to Surrey and back) and a (short) triathlon in September, so an easy to make, healthy energy bar was needed. 

I also like that I know exactly what has, and hasn’t, gone into these. These are dairy free, gluten free, refined sugar free and vegan but still so yummy! Even my boyfriend liked them. 

It’s a bit of an imprecise art, so go ahead and chuck anything you’ve go in the cupboard into these! 

  
 Chocolate seed energy bar, loosely based on This recipe from Nourish the Roots

  • 2 cups mixed seeds (I used a couple of bags of seed mix from Lidl, which had sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts)
  • 1 cup pecan nuts
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 2 tbsp linseed 
  • 6 tbsp coconut oil, firm
  • 4 tbsp cocoa powder or melted chocolate ( I used a mixture of the two!)
  • About 20 dates (if they are very dry, pour some boiling water over them)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence

Lightly grease a 11x7inch baking dish. 

Put all the seeds and nuts in a food processor. Blitz until roughly chopped. If you don’t want big bits of nuts and seeds, blitz it a bit longer! Tip into a large bowl and set aside.

Put the coconut oil, dates, chocolate or cooca and vanilla in the food processor. Blitz to a smooth paste, mine was the consistency of slightly melted Nutella… If it seems a bit thick, add a little water (the date water if you poured any over your dates)

Scoop the chocolatey paste into the bowl of seeds and then squish it all together with your hands. Tip the mix into the baking dish and press down with the back of a spoon. Cover and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Cut into bars and wrap them up in grease proof or foil. Keep in the fridge ready for your next gym/swim/run/cycle! 

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Dairy free sticky toffee pudding, for 10

If you thought that dairy free = healthy, I’m about to show you how dairy free can be really quite indulgent. 

Don’t make this every week. Don’t even make this every month. This is a one off super sweet treat only for special occasions. 

I made this in Spain for my mum’s birthday. We had the whole family there plus my mum’s cousin, totalling 10. It’s a really easy dessert to make for a lot of people, and because it takes a while in the oven, you can put it in before you sit down for dinner and it’ll be ready after your main course (+a little pause). 

Unfortunately I was more keen on eating it than taking photos, so we’ve just got a badly lit holiday snap.   

  

  
  
Sticky Toffee Pudding based on this recipe from BBC food

For the pudding 

  • 350g dates, chopped 
  • 350ml boiling water
  • 2tsp vanilla extract
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda (or baking powder)
  • 350g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • 100g dairy free margarine (like pure)
  • 280g soft brown sugar

For the sauce

  • 200g brown sugar 
  • 60g dairy free margarine
  • 250 – 300ml coconut milk (if it’s seperated in the can give it a good stir)

Preheat the oven to 140’c (fan). Grease a large oven dish, I think mine was about a 30cmx18cm oval. It was the biggest one we had! 

Put the dates in a bowl and pour the boiling water over and leave to sit.

Beat together the flour, eggs, margarine and sugar with an electric mixer until well mixed. It will look like a stiff cake batter. 

Add the bicarb and vanilla extract to the dates, let it fizz. Then add the whole lot (yes all the water too) to the cake mixture. Stir in but don’t over mix. It will look like a strange, runny cake mix with bits of dates. This is right! 

Pour the mix into the oven dish and bake for 50 mins – 1hr until risen and springy to the touch, and a skewer comes out clean. You can leave it to the side at this point until you are ready to serve it. 

Make the sauce by putting all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bringing to the boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for a few minutes until thickened to pouring sauce consistency. If it goes a bit too thick, you can add some more coconut milk. 

Turn the oven up to high or turn on the grill. Pour over enough sauce to cover the sponge and put back in the oven/grill for a few minutes until the sauce is bubbling. 

Serve with the remaining sauce and dairy free ice cream. 

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