Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Royal Parks Half Marathon

After cruelly being forced into taking part in this half marathon at the last minute last year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually really enjoyed it! As much as I love getting to the gym as much as possible, I am the first to admit that I can become stuck in a rut with my fitness routine. Signing up this year will (hopefully) give me the bit of oomph that I need to get off the treadmill and start pounding the pavements in preparation for this! 

If you're feeling generous then click on the link below to sponsor me (it's for a good cause, trust me) or, if not, just come along on 12th October to soak up the atmosphere, have a laugh (at me) and enjoy the drink stands whilst the rest of us do the hard work...


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Vegan Banana Bread

A vegan diet may fill a lot of people with fear, primarily because it often leaves people questioning what they can actually eat! I tried a vegan diet and, I'm not going to lie, I found it incredibly difficult. The main reason was that it is very hard to find suitable vegan "on-the-go" items which won't break the bank. If you are able to plan your meals and snacks ahead then that's great but, personally, I'm not going to carry around a whole days worth of food with me! However, I was pleasantly surprised when I researched into vegan recipes and how easy it can be to adapt recipes in order to make them vegan. The internet has LOADS. However, this little beauty is courtesy of a friend of mine who very kindly passed the recipe on to me. I plan to post a lot of vegan recipe ideas in future, whether it be meals or snacks, but this vegan banana bread is so good that it had to go first! 

You will need:
-225g wholemeal flour
-3 tsp baking powder
-75g brown sugar
-3 tsp cinnamon 
-4 large black bananas
-75g sunflower oil
-50g dried fruit/nuts (optional)

To start with, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. If you haven't got any overripe bananas, put 4 ripe bananas in the oven at this point for about 5 minutes. If necessary, turn the bananas and leave for a few minutes longer until completely brown. Next, peel and mash the bananas and combine with the sugar and oil.

Add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon (I added an extra teaspoon of cinnamon for a hint of spice) and combine well. This is the point to also add any additional ingredients. I chose to add 50g of chopped, dried cranberries but any dried fruit, nuts or even chocolate would work really well.

Bake in a greased and lined 2lb loaf tin for 20 minutes, before checking. If the bread is browning , cover with foil before baking for a further 40 minutes. Check that the centre is cooked through by inserting a clean knife and seeing if any dough appears on knife. Bake for longer if necessary but keep regularly checking. I ended up baking it for a further 10 minutes when it could've done with slightly less....you live and learn!

This loaf can be sliced and served straight away or cover and keep for up to 48 hours. A great tea time treat or handy snack for the working day. Enjoy!