Gluten-free Banana Bread

What do you do when you have super ripe bananas? You bake the most delicious, fluffy and aromatic banana bread. I love using buckwheat flour as it’s naturally gluten-free, high in fibre and it gives a nutty flavor that works really well with the spices used in this recipe.

Gluten-free banana bread with buckwheat flour

Gluten-free Banana Bread

  • Servings: 10
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: fsnutritionist.com

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, ripe
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g sugar
  • 200g buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg, ground
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 10g baking powder (gluten-free certified)
  • Chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Smash 2 bananas with a fork (save the 3rd banana for later). Squeeze the lemon and pour the juice on the smashed bananas to prevent oxidation.
  3. Whip butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  4. Add the eggs one at the time – before adding the second egg make sure that the first one is well absorbed into the dough.
  5. Add the sifted flour with baking powder, pinch of salt and spices. Mix well until fully combined.
  6. Add the smashed banana and the chocolate chips to the dough and mix carefully.
  7. Line a loaf case with baking paper and pour the dough into it.
  8. Cut the third banana lengthwise and carefully place it on top of your dough.
  9. Sprinkle some cane sugar on top if you want for a caramelized top.
  10. Bake at 180° for around 45-50’ (the time may be different based on your oven). If the banana bread is getting too brown, cover with some foil.

For a non gluten-free version you can swap the buckwheat flour for wholegrain or all purpose flour.

I love heating up mine and serving it with yoghurt and peanut butter. A nutritious and delicious snack or breakfast.


Rustic Apple Cake

Is there anything more autumnal than a slice of apple cake with a warm cup of tea? I don’t think so and this weather really calls for it.

This recipe is simple and quick, with no butter or oil (NOTE: There’s nothing wrong with baking a cake with butter, I simply love this butter-free version too). Also, I used wholegrain and buckwheat flour which give a rustic vibe to the cake, but feel free to use all purpose flour if you wish.

Rustic apple cake

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 kg apple, golden
  • 100g wholegrain flour
  • 100g buckwheat flour
  • 80g sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100ml milk or soy drink
  • 2 Tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Line a cake tin (24 cm) with parchment paper.
  3. Peel and finely slices the apples.
  4. In a small bowl cover the apple slices with lemon juice to avoid them turning brown.
  5. In a large bowl beat up the eggs and the sugar with an electric mixer, until light and whipped. Add the vanilla extract.
  6. Gradually add the sifted flour, baking powder, cinnamon, lemon zest and pinch of salt.
  7. Continue whisking and add the milk.
  8. Keep around 20 apple slices to garnish the cake and add the others to the batter. Mix well.
  9. Garnish the cake and bake for around 45 minutes

Enjoy and let me know if you try it.


Banana and peanut butter chocolate bites

Is there a better combo than chocolate-bananas-peanut butter? I don’t think so.
They make a delicious and nutritious snack or evening dessert. I like to make mine with dark chocolate but you can use milk chocolate or white chocolate too.

Banana and peanut butter chocolate bites

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • Bananas (not too ripe!)
  • Smooth Peanut Butter
  • Melted chocolate (I like dark chocolate)

Directions

  1. Finely slice the bananas
  2. Spread a thin layer of peanut butter on one banana slice and create a sandwich with another one. Keep going until you finish all the banana slices. Pop them in the freezer for about 5 minutes.
  3. Cover the banana bites with melted chocolate and pop again in the freezer for 15 minutes.


Beans curry

Cannellini beans and courgettes curry

Beans curry

I’ve made these cannellini beans with curry powder on repeat the past week – they are quick (ready in about 10 minutes) and delicious. Plus, it’s a way to introduce more plants into your weekly meals, which means more fibre and a happier gut.

Courgette ricotta fritters

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • 2 courgettes, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 leek, very thinly sliced
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 95g flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the courgettes, leek, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour mixed with baking powder just until fully incorporated.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large pan, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Add 2 Tbsp of the courgette batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form the fritters.
  3. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away.
  4. Tip: make them ahead and re-heat in a 180°C oven.

I served mine with brown rice.

Enjoy!


Courgette ricotta fritters

Do you need a lunchbox inspo? These courgette fritters are packed with nutrients, simply delicious and convenient.
Lunch box: pair the fritters with some roasted vegetables and potatoes. Works well in a buddha bowl too.

Courgette ricotta fritters

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

    Ingredients:
  • 2 courgettes, coarsely shredded
  • 1/2 leek, very thinly sliced
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 95g flour
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the courgettes, leek, ricotta, eggs, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Stir well, then stir in the flour mixed with baking powder just until fully incorporated.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with paper towels. In a large pan, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Add 2 Tbsp of the courgette batter to the hot oil, spreading them to form the fritters.
  3. Fry over moderately high heat, turning once, until browned and crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Drain the fritters on the paper towels and serve right away.
  4. Tip: make them ahead and re-heat in a 180°C oven.


Vegan Meatballs

Vegan Lentils Meatballs

These Vegan Lentils Meatballs are full of flavor thanks to the dried thyme and soy sauce. Without too much prep needed you will have your lunch or dinner sorted – simply add some grains and veggies to your meal.

You can batch cook them and leftovers can be used for your lunchbox the next day.

Vegan meatballs

Vegan lentils meatballs

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients


* 1 can of green lentils (250g), drained and rinsed
* 1 Tbsp olive oil
* 1/2 large onion or 1/2 leeks
* 1 heaping Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
* 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
* 1 Tbsp tomatoes purée
To serve:
* Giant wholegrain cous cous (or other grains)
* Mixed stir fry vegetables or a salad
* Datterini tomatoes sauce or standard basil tomatoes sauce
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Directions


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a food processor add the lentils, olive oil, onion or leeks, thyme, pepper, tomatoes purée and the soy sauce. Blend together.
2. If need add 1 or 2 Tbsp water (be careful not to add too much water) and add 2 -4 Tbsp breadcrumbs (again, be careful not too add too much breadcrumbs – the exact quantities will depend on how much water you add and how soft is your dough).
3. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
4. Scoop out 1 Tbsp of dough and roll into balls and place on the lined tray. You should end up with 12 balls (it depends on their size).
5. Drizzle the balls with some olive oil.
6. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for around 20 minutes.
7. Serve with a cous cous salad and some tomatoes sauce or with a tomato pasta using your vegan meatballs.
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[\recipe]


Courgette and spinach pesto pasta

A quick and delicious very GREEN pasta recipe. A little different from a traditional pesto recipe but with definitely more nutrients thanks to the added vegetables. 

For a bit of fun: You can use kale instead of spinach and edamame beans instead of peas. 

You can also make a big batch of pesto and store it in the freezer. I love it spread on a toast with some hummus. 

Courgette and spinach pesto

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • 80g fresh basil leaves
  • 30g grated parmesan (or Nutritional yeast flakes for a vegan version)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 20g pine nuts
  • 2 big courgettes or 3 – 4 small courgettes
  • 160g pasta
  • 2 handful of fresh spinach
  • 2 full spoons of boiled peas
  • 1/2 lemon juice

Directions

  1. Finely slice the courgettes. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil on a saucepan and add the courgette. Cook until soft and season with salt and pepper. You can sauté the courgette with some garlic if you like it. Set aside the courgettes to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the pack instruction and keep some of the cooking water.
  3. In a tall container or a large bowl of a food processor blend the 1/2 or 3/4 of the cooked courgettes with the pease, basil, parmesan, 1 Tbsp olive oil, pine nuts, spinach and lemon juice. Blend the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.
  4. Drain the pasta and add to the frying pan over a medium heat with the remaining courgettes. Add your pesto and 1 or 2 tbsp of the cooking water.
  5. Toss well to coat evenly the pasta and serve with extra fresh basil leaves, parmesan and pine nuts.


Roasted Chickpeas

On my Instagram account (here) I wrote a few posts on snacks and how they can be helpful in achieving your daily protein requirements if you are an athlete with higher needs.

These roasted chickpeas are a great idea for snacking during the day – a high plant-based protein snack that contributes towards your daily fibre goals = happy gut!

Roasted chickpeas

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 tsp (or more) smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • pinch of salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. In a bowl mix the chickpeas with olive oil, paprika, salt, and chili flakes. Mix well until the chickpeas are well coated.
  4. Add the chickpeas onto a baking tray.
  5. Bake for 20-30 minutes.

Store ad room temperature and aim to consume them the same day or the second day.


Ice-Cream Sandwich

I personally love whipped cream and ice cream sandwiches. If we add chocolate, in my opinion, we have the perfect combo. Such a fun, delicious snack.

Making homemade ice-cream sandwiches gives you the chance to use your favorite biscuits, sprinkles (nuts, desiccated coconut, chocolate chips) or even frozen fruit.

Ice-cream sandwich

  • Difficulty: super easy
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Ingredients

  • Whipped double cream
  • Melted dark chocolate
  • Chopped hazelnuts
  • biscuits

Directions

  1. I spread the melted chocolate on one side of each biscuits and I let them sit in the freezer for a couple of minutes.
  2. I spread the whipped cream, gently closed the sandwich and sprinkled with some nuts.

Quick and easy! Now all we need is summer… right?

As I always say, nutrition is not all about fueling your body, nutrients, calories, etc. it’s much more. Fun food (such as ice cream) can be part of a healthy lifestyle, despite what the media says.

Let me know if you will give them a try.


Strawberry almond muffins

These strawberry muffins are sweet, fluffy and moist – perfect for breakfast or for a snack/afternoon tea. I think the combo strawberry and almond is simply delicious. They are full of fresh sweet strawberries and whole flour for a fibre boost. Why not pair them with some yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast?

Strawberry almond muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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Credit: fsnutritionist.com

Ingredients

  • 96 g plain flour
  • 125 g whole flour
  • 125 g almond flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 65 g sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 230 ml milk
  • 60 ml olive oil or sunflower oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cup strawberries, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. In a bowl combine the flours with baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  3. In a larger bowl whisk the milk with the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Dust the strawberries with 1 tbsp of flour to prevent them to sink to the bottom of the muffin cups.
  5. Mix the dry ingredient into the bowl with the wet one and combine. Add the strawberries.
  6. Use a 1/3 cup measuring cup (this is the perfect amount) to scoop the batter into the muffin cups.Bake for 20 minutes.