Natural Food – Deliciously Ella

I have recently become a little bit obsessed with Deliciously Ella, a natural food and healthy living blog filled with some seriously delicious but extremely healthy food. If you follow me, you may have noticed my Insatgram and Twitter are filled with food posts. Since Christmas, I have decided to try and cut down on the amount of sugar and processed carbohydrates in mine and the childrens diet. I wouldn’t say that we ate badly but some bad food habits were starting to creep in and both for the sake of my own and my children’s health, I think it is really important to focus on eating a diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables and doesn’t contain too much of the bad stuff.

What I really love about Deliciously Ella is that she doesn’t recommend depriving yourself as she has lots of alternatives that are filling and satisfying but also help to wean you off sugar (which is actually a bit addictive). I have also recently switched to only eating meat very occasionally instead of most days, so it is great to get some ideas for protein rich plant alternatives that taste amazing. You can check out Ella’s video above for some great tips on how to quit bad habits and get healthy.

sweet potato brownies
Homemade hummus

The sweet treats section of the blog is definitely where most of my attention has been but I have also been trying out some of the delicious salad ideas (homemade hummus and roast Kale pictured above) for mine and the childrens pack lunches. Yesterday I made a batch of sweet potato brownies which were an outstanding success, deliously rich and gooey with a really chocolately and slightly bitter flavour. I added my own extra ingredient of some pecan nuts to up their protein content even more.

Do you think about eating natural food? have you checked out the Deliciously Ella blog or cookbook.

With warmest wishes

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Healthy Nut, Seed and Banana Snack Bars

Healthy Nut Seed and Banana Snack Bars
Inspired by a recipe on clean food blog, Deliciously Ella and by a comment by Mr S about the multiple bags of open seeds and nuts that I have in the kitchen cupboard, I decided to try and create some healthy snack bars from food that I already had in the house and needed using up.

This  healthy snack bar recipe basically features a mixture of nuts, seeds and dried fruit that I have bought to top porridge and yoghurt or to make salad dressings with. I think it would work well with just about any mixture of wholefood seeds, nuts and dried fruit that you have got. I also used ripe bananas that needed using up for this recipe, there isn’t really any substitute for this as it is what holds the bars together. My snack bars tasted a bit like flapjacks only a lot more filling and not nearly as sweet. If you have a sweet tooth, you could double or triple the amount of honey for a more sugary snack.

I am hoping that they will be a good alternative to cakes and biscuits for the me and the children and a more healthy option than the supposedly ‘healthy snack bars’ that you can buy in the shops.

This recipe makes about 12 healthy snack bars or more if you cut them smaller!

Ingredients 

2 large ripe bananas
2 cups of mixed seeds, nuts and dried fruit (I used flaked almonds, cashew nuts,walnuts, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sunflower seeds and raisins)
2-3 cups of oats
1 -3 desert spoons of honey
A little oil/ spread to grease the tray
Healthy Snack Bars
Preheat the oven to about 160 degrees celsius Mix together the nuts, seeds and dried fruit chopping any larger nuts or dried fruit into smaller pieces.
Healthy Snack Bars
Peel and mash the bananas until they form a smooth puree.
Healthy Snack Bars
Add the seeds, nuts, dried fruit and honey to the bananas and mix.

Seed and nut snack bars
Add oats until the mixture is quite dry (it should form a ball that could almost be rolled out). You may need to use more or less oats depending on the amount of banana puree and types of nuts, seeds and fruit you used.
Healthy nut and seed bars
Line a tray with baking paper and grease and transfer mixture into the baking tray. Use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the sides of the tray and pack it down.
Seed and nut snack bars
Bake in the oven at about 160 degrees celcius for 25 minutes. Half way through remove the snack bars and score so that they are easier to cut/ break into pieces once cooked. Keep an eye on yours snack bars as the nuts and seeds can burn quite quickly.
Nut, seed and banana bars
Allow the bars to cool before removing from the tray and breaking into pieces. And there it is, yummy healthy snack bars.

These snack bars smell amazing when they are cooking. They are really filling, packed with plant based protein and nutrients making them great for pre or post workout snacks and for lunch box or tummy fillers for children. I made them with the help of my 7 year old who loved mixing up the ingredients and eating them!

Are you trying to eat healthy in 2015? what are your favourite healthy snacks?

With warmest wishes

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