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Do not skip breakfast, I repeat, do not skip breakfast! If you are really pressed for time, at least get into the habit of gulping down a smoothie before you head out or pour it into a handy container to drink on your way to work. Try this healthy and satisfying strawberry banana smoothie from Jessica Gavin to keep you energized throughout the day. If you prefer blueberries, this smoothie recipe from Love and Olive Oil is the one you will be making every morning.

I used almond milk for both smoothies making it suitable for vegans and lactose intolerant people as well as those wishing to cut down on calories and fat from cow’s milk. While the price tag may be somewhat prohibitive, you will be happy to know that you can often find almond milk cartons marked down to half price discounts at every end-of-month sales, so do keep an eye open for them in the organic section of your local grocery store or supermarket.

STRAWBERRY ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

1 large banana, sliced

1/4 cup almonds raw

1/2 cup old fashioned oats

2 cups strawberries, frozen

2/3 cup almond milk

1 teaspoon pure honey

Method:

  • Add all ingredients into a blender. Blend for about 90 seconds until the mixture is smooth.

  • Add more honey as needed. Top with chopped almonds, strawberry or bananas if desired.

  • Add more milk as needed to achieve desired consistency as recipe yields a thick smoothie.

 

BLUEBERRY ALMOND MILK SMOOTHIE

Ingredients:

1 banana, peeled

1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2 cup almond butter

1/2 cup plain yogurt

3/4 cup almond milk

3 dates, pitted and chopped

1 cup crushed ice

Method:

  • Combine all the ingredients in a blender and purée on high speed until the mixture is smooth.

  • Add ice cubes and blend until the smoothie reaches your desired consistency. Makes 1 serving.

Almond Milk Smoothies

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“A low-fat muffin that tastes as good as it looks”, this healthy banana breakfast muffin from BBC GoodFood has the added benefit of being packed with a generous dose of antioxidants in the form of blueberries.

BANANA & BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

Ingredients:

300g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

100g light muscovado sugar

50g oats + 1 tablespoon for topping

2 medium bananas, mashed

284ml carton buttermilk

5 tablespoons light olive oil

2 egg whites, room temperature

150g fresh blueberries

Method:

  • Heat the oven to 180C/ fan 160C/ gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.

  • Tip the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a large bowl. Hold back one tablespoon of the sugar.

  • Mix the remainder with flour and 50g oats. Make a well in centre. Mash bananas until smooth.

  • Stir the buttermilk, oil and egg whites into the mashed banana mixture until evenly combined.

  • Pour the liquid mixture into the well and stir mix quickly and sparingly with a wooden spoon.

  • The mixture will look lumpy and may have the odd fleck of flour still visible. Do not over-mix.

  • Tip in the blueberries and give it just one more stir. Divide the mix between the muffin cases.

  • Sprinkle top with the final tablespoon of oats and rest of the sugar. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.

  • Muffins will have turned dark golden. Cool for 5 minutes in the tray before lifting out to cool.

  • Baked muffins will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen for up to a month.

Banana Blueberry Muffins

APPLE & FIG FLAPJACKS

Ingredients:

450g apples, peeled and cored

25g golden caster sugar

Zest of 1 small lemon

100g dried figs, chopped

140g butter, cut into pieces

50g light muscovado sugar

140g golden syrup

250g porridge oats

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

25g walnuts, chopped

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 190 oC. Slice the apples into a small pan and stir in the caster sugar.

  • Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes until apple is soft, stirring occasionally.

  • Stir in the zest and the figs and cook for another 15 minutes, uncovered. Stir mixture often.

  • When the figs are softened and the mixture is quite dry, remove from heat and cool slightly.

  • Whizz the cooked apple and fig mixture into a smooth puree in a food processor, set aside.

  • Melt butter, muscovado sugar and syrup into a heavy based, medium saucepan over low heat.

  • Do not let it boil. Stir in the oats and cinnamon and mix well to form a loose, sticky mixture.

  • Press half of the mixture into a shallow 18 x 18cm square baking pan. Spread puree on top.

  • Cover the puree with the remaining oat mixture and sprinkle the chopped walnuts all over.

  • Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until it is golden. Remove from oven, cut into squares and serve.

Apple & Fig Flapjacks from BBC GoodFood

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