Have a healthy and delicious summer! Plus strawberry and banana smoothie

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When it comes to summer, I eat less( I think this is due to the temperature, being more active so having less time to procrastinate[eat], the weather being nicer so being happier and less inclined to turn to food for comfort….) and also preferring lighter, fresher and healthier foods. I love this about summer, I feel more in shape from getting out and enjoying the great outdoors and eating less of the heavy or greasy foods although I do generally try to eat well.

I have been trying to ‘eat clean’ for the past few weeks. For me, I am not health expert so what this means for me is trying to eat less processed foods and sticking with simpler foods with ingredients and production process I understand, and of course plenty of fruit and veg. I have also been sipping various teas throughout the day to keep my hydration up and sweet cravings at bay. I drink green tea with jasmine, peppermint tea, mango and strawberry tea, mango and lychee tea, blood orange and cranberry tea and many other fruit teas daily. Twinings mango and lychee tea has been a firm daily favourite of mine. It smells delicious and I was surprised that it actually does smell like lychee and has a very subtle taste, so like drinking water plus. I don’t like it when teas are too sickly so this is perfect for me. I have also been cooling the fruit teas for delicious ice tea! a lot healthier than drinking fruit juices or cordials as the teas are all natural ingredients and have no added sugar! I drink a lot of peppermint tea as I am lead to believe that this helps with digestion? I had some bloating recently, I am not sure what it was being caused by. Some suggest, too much fruit and veg, some say wheat, some say porridge…… I don’t know. Anyway what I’ve found has helped is eating snacks throughout the day so that I am never feeling hungry, rather than having 3 larger meals, drinking small cups of tea and I have also been using Optibac Probiotics-For a flat stomach( previously ‘anti bloat’) for a week (one sachet a day) which I think might have helped too. No bloating this week at all. It is recommended that this is used for a week a month, but could be used daily if necessary. It normally costs and £7-8 for a weeks worth which is not cheap, however I did manage to get it on amazon for £5 ish. I will be sticking to one week a month I think.

When I am home from university, I feel very tempted by all the delicious foods my mum makes. I think it’s fine to eat some of everything, as long as I resist and don’t eat more than I need to. One thing that I do appreciate about living and feeding myself when I’m at uni is that I can control exactly what I want and should eat and can plan around my days activity.

Anyway, super quick recipe today; I have been enjoying whizzing smoothies up in the blender. I posted a no blender smoothie recipe below whilst I was still at uni, but back home I have a handheld blender. 3 ingredients:
-5 strawberries
-1 banana
-some milk to taste/ consistency

Simply whizz up and enjoy, serve with a strawberry on the side and a straw if you want to be fancy about it! A quick, easy, and healthy snack/ dessert/refreshment, et voila.

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Twinings mango and lychee tea, cooled and served with ice.

Enjoy your summer! X

Chunky, no blender required, strawberry and banana smoothie

The past week or so, the sun has been out and this has been reflected in my eating habits; lots of juicy fruit, crunchy veg and salads and refreshing drinks. I seriously craved a fruity smoothie today but lacking a blender or food processor, I just made up a recipe, here it goes:

2 or 3 Strawberries– mashed into a puree like substance
1 Banana– mashed into a puree also
8-10 tablespoons Milk
2-4 tablespoons Vanilla yoghurt (but you can use any flavour you think will go)
* additional * 1 tablespoon strawberry flavoured Angel Delight or Nesquick or anything similar

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Basically, mash up the banana and strawberries the best you can with a fork- takes a little muscle! (Of course if you have a blender, great! A not so chunky smoothy you will have!) Mix in the yoghurt and milk- the amounts for these can be varied depending on the consistency and dairy-ness you are going for. The angel delight I added gave a little (even more!) thickness to the smoothie and also blunted the sharpness of the strawberries a little (strawberries at this time of year are still a bit sour).

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This smoothie is delicious, packs in a whole banana (the less ripe the more beneficial) a portion of strawberries (so that’s 2 of your 5 a day), some milk and some yoghurt ( good if you use probiotic/ bio-live, low fat, organic, natural ingredients, low sugar, etc, etc kinds). Furthermore it is filling. For an even chunkier but even more filling smoothie, you can add some oats or grains…. that kind of stuff. Whatever floats your boat really.

Hope you enjoyed this quick and tasty, sunny and fruity, nutritious and healthy smoothie recipe 🙂

Easy peasy, super speedy, kinda cheating cheesecake!

Hello there,

First blog post, I thought i’d start with something simple 🙂

Today I tried something new, I used a cheesecake mix. I have made cheesecake from scratch before( well not totally from scratch, I mean by crushing biscuits, using cream cheese etc, you know what I mean) but I had never considered using a mix before.

I used Green’s Cheesecake, ‘Velvety Topping on a Crunchy Biscuit Base’ (I can’t say ‘biscuit base’ without singing this: http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=IfeyUGZt8nk …). However, I made it my own by making the cheese cake into a zesty lemon flavour and topped it with strawberries.

I bought the Green’s cheesecake mix from Tesco for a very decent 88p, that is £0.88. A lemon costs about 30p and I used about a third of a box of strawberries. The only other ingredients necessary to make up the cheesecake were a small amount of milk and butter. As you can see, a very low cost dessert we have here.

The cheesecake mix consists of a packet of biscuit base and a packet of the cheese bit.

Lets take a look at the cheesecake mix:

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Okay so lets talk about what I did:

Zesty lemon cheesecake topped with slice strawberries with the help of Green’s

What you need:
1x Green’s cheesecake mix
75g unsalted butter
12 tbsp milk (box instructions say 235ml….I will explain below)
1 unwaxed lemon, zested (that is the grated skin) and all the juice squeezed
Strawberries

I mostly followed the instructions on the box, but a couple of small changes…
1. I made up the biscuit base as in the instructions on the box by melting 75g of unsalted butter in a pan and then stirring in the biscuit crumbs. I then pressed this into a spring form cake tin that I had lined at the bottom with some baking parchment( draw around the tin on some baking parchment and cut out). Leave this in the fridge to harden.

2. Lemon. Grate the skin of a lemon with the finest grater you have, I used a fine grater intended for Parmesan cheese. Then slice this lemon in half and then squeeze out as much juice as possible. Set the juice and zest aside.

3. Onto the cheesy bit. Put the cheese mix into a mixing bowl along with 12tbsp of milk. Now, this is a little less milk than stated on the box, however as I am adding the juice of one lemon( about 2 tbsp comes out of that) I am cutting down on the milk a little to prevent the cheese topping from being too runny. Whisk by hand or machine until the mixture is thicker and fluffier, this should take a few minutes. Then add in the lemon zest and juice and continue whisking until blended well. The mixture may not be as firm as if you hadn’t added lemon juice, but it is only the texture that is affected slightly (it will still stand) but now you have the bonus of some lemon-y tastiness!

4. If the biscuit base has hardened by now( it should have, but if not hang on in there) go ahead and spread the cheesy lemony topping on the biscuit base and set in the fridge to cool and firm. After about an hour (in this time, wash up and start slicing those strawberries!) you can decorate the cheesecake with the fruit. As you can see, I am not much of an artist with strawberries!

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Although this wasn’t the tastiest cheesecake I’ve ever tasted, it is fantastic for what it is. I think using this cheesecake mix as a base is a great way to be creative and it really didn’t take long to make at all. Try out combinations of fruit, chocolate, nuts etc. Greens suggest on the back of their box a banoffee version of the cheesecake by adding a caramel layer, I think this is a great idea!

Please share any cheesecake ideas you come up with!

Happy cheesecaking 🙂

G

Ps. “I like the base, base, base, base, I like the buttery biscuit base….”