Banana, almond & cardamom pancakes

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

These pancakes are seriously delicious and filling. Plus they’re easy. I’ve deliberately kept the prep (and dishes) to a minimum for a fuss free Shrove Tuesday pudding / supper, or Wednesday AM post Pancake Day breakfast. Almonds are packed with anti-oxidants, Vit E, fibre, magnesium and protein and are proven to reduce insulin and blood sugar levels after eating. As you’d expect, these little delights are also seductively, yet wholesomely, gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, and a great option for all you paleo people out there.

Banana, coconut & cardamom pancakes

Makes 8 – 10 pancakes. Feeds 2


1 egg, whisked
1 banana, mashed
4 tbsp ground almonds
2 tbsp desiccated coconut – or sub for 1 tbsp almond
1 tsp baking powder
16 cardamom pods, seeds removed and crushed – optional
1 tbsp almond milk, sparkling water or water
1/2 dsp coconut oil

To serve

1 lemon
Creme fraiche, Coyo coconut yoghurt (I love this!) or greek yoghurt
Maple syrup


Whisk eggs in bowl, add in banana and mash with fork. Add in remaining ingredients, apart from coconut oil and toppings, and stir. Set aside for a couple of minutes for the baking powder to activate.

Melt coconut oil in a frying pan and maintain a steady medium to low heat. Dollop in 1 dsp scoops of your pancake mix. Fry until browned, around 1 – 1 1/2 mins on the first side and 1 minute on the reverse.

Serve in a stack, alternating between a squeeze of lemon and yoghurt between each layer. Drizzle with (mineral rich!) maple syrup and eat. So good.


Cardamom’s a bit like Marmite so drop this if not to your taste, I love cardamom but don’t always include it. I find the easiest way to remove the seeds is to bash the pods in a pestle and mortar until the husks separate themselves and can be easily removed, allowing me to crush the seeds to a fine powder.

Click here for more info on Storehouse Seducer almonds.

The mug and plate in the picture are by South African potter, Wonki Ware. I hauled mine back in hand luggage (worth it!) but The Conran Shop has recently introduced a decent, and growing, range.


Cacao nut energy bites

Posted in: DF, Featured, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Another relentlessly popular snack worthy of a re-post. Packed with nothing but (seriously) good stuff, these were a crowd pleaser at a recent Lululemon event and an energy staple on my Tarifa Yoga Holidays. They’re even a winner at parties, in fact, energy bites are fast becoming the new chocolate brownie of cafes. Nutritionist colleague, Kate’s added her recipe to our Gather & Gather meetings and snack range. So much more productive than a sugar or crisp crash and burn ‘pick me up’. This is my version.


I’m not a huge fan of overly ‘datey’ flavours so have given options for (wholesomely seductive) maple syrup and added a pinch of sea salt for a healthy take on salted caramels. Think: protein, fibre, antioxidants, no refined sugar, raw, coconut oil, dairy and gluten free etc etc. I’ve used cup measures to save scale faffing; they really are very easy.

Makes 15 balls or 20+ bites


1 cup (6 tbsp) pumpkin & sunflower seeds
1 dsp linseed and / or chia, split 50/50
1.5 tbsp cacao powder
1 tbsp almonds or almond butter
2 tbsp maple syrup or 3/4 cup pitted dates, I find most people prefer maple syrup
2 tbsp dried cranberries – adds a tart sweetness… that’s not datey :)
1.5 tbsp coconut oil
2 tsp maca (for added energy) – optional
Pinch Himalayan or sea salt
1 dsp desiccated coconut for coating – if making into balls


Blitz seeds (including linseed / chia) and almonds until they resemble chunky breadcrumbs – around 30 secs. If using almond butter, add this with other ingredients after whizzing seeds. Sorry Vitamix, but I find Magimix infinitely more efficient on drier recipes.


Add remaining ingredients and mix for a couple of mins until you have a sticky dough. Roll into pieces smaller than a golf ball and coat in the desiccated coconut set aside earlier.

Or for ease, you can press into a tray and slice into squares after chilling. Either way, put straight to the fridge to retain the shape.

They keep for a while so I make double quantities and store for pudding or as a snack to tide me through exercise. Indulgence doesn’t get more virtuous.


Cranberry & lemon amoretti

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, V, WF

Thanks to your calls to action post my supper clubs, fitness events and yoga holidays, this superhero stars again. Almost 2 years after I first shared the recipe, it really is a good one. True Wholesome Seduction: a super tasty snack that’s healthy, low carb and protein packed. These mini morsels are even vegan, dairy, gluten and refined sugar free and still somehow taste of un-compromised indulgence. Ideal for pre / post exercise; a (very buff) friend now keeps them at the ready for his relentless triathlon training hunger. Groan! If iron man fitness doesn’t float your boat, they’re perfect with coffee.


Makes 10 – 12 amoretti.


200g ground almonds, bought or home made (skin off almonds)
zest of one lemon
20g / 1 tbsp dried cranberries, rough chopped
2 medium egg whites
2 dsp maple syrup, raw honey or agave


Pre-heat oven to 150C. Mix almonds, lemon zest, almond extract and cranberries and set aside.


Whisk together egg whites, agave and honey until you get soft peaks. Fold in almond mix. You should have a sticky dough.


Break off chunks and roll into pieces slightly smaller than a golf ball. Coat with icing sugar (optional) and place on greaseproof lined baking tray.


Bake for 12 – 14 mins until lightly browned on top. With a knife, unstick the bottom and transfer to a cooling rack.

Cool before eating and store in an airtight container.

From the streets: Bounce Natural Energy Balls

Posted in: DF, N, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Bounce’s gluten, dairy and (refined) sugar free balls of protein and goodness have been kicking around in yoga centres, gyms and health shops for a while. But at nearly £2 a pop, I needed some convincing. Until I tasted the Coconut & Macadamia…

Bounce Energy Balls

Thanks to the lovely people at Bounce sending me a truck load of samples I’m now hooked.

A filling protein and energy hit for when you get caught out on the go surrounded only by crisps or Cadburys. This seems to happen to me a lot. On a recent cycle home I inhaled 1/2 kg of dry roasted peanuts. Bounce has since become a handbag staple.

Why I’m hooked:

  • 100% natural (not just a strap line) and made only with stuff that does us good
  • 42 filling grams of protein or fibre
  • Gluten, dairy and refined sugar free
  • No artificial preservatives
  • Under 200 calories
  • Winning flavours: Macadamia & Coconut; Spirulina & Ginseng; Peanut; Cashew & Pecan; Almond… I like them all!

£1.79 from Wholefoods, Holland & Barrett, Waitrose or health shops. Or you can buy boxes of 12 online at Bounce: £19.45.


The Anti-diet

Posted in: Featured, Uncategorized

Sitting here, slurping my liquid lunch (of the soup variety) I wonder, could UK eating habits be considered mildly schizophrenic? With Santa duties and gorging out the way, we Brits need a new goal it would seem. Cue: Beach booty / Alcohol is the enemy / My body is a temple and nothing but raw veggies hand picked by virgin nuns will pass my lips.

Christmas G&Ts with straws

We women (and I apologise in advance for the red rag to a bull sweeping generalisation) are largely programed to derive more than a healthy dose of sense of self from our appearance and percentage body fat. I don’t do diets, yet I’m off solids in a desperate attempt to shed Mince Pie Top. I split my leggings at Christmas. Case rests. On confessing my cognitive disposition, several male friends bravely admitted to feeling my pain, so it’s no longer just us dollies, sadly.

Writing this blog and working in food, I’m often asked for the wholesomely seductive Holy Grail. For me, food is one of life’s greatest pleasures. I pick holiday destinations and social events based almost entirely on the street eats I’ll sample and later adapt at home.

Maltby Street Market Cakes

It’s common knowledge that yo-yo dieting does not, in the long term, a slimmer figure make. A zero fat / carb / dairy diet would leave me bereft of joy, not to mention unemployed. And surely abstinence just makes the heart grow fonder, right? However, I also derive a significant amount of happiness from feeling fit and healthy, and squeezing into jeans that would be snug on a fifteen year old ballerina.

As this blog extols, food is fuel; it should not only taste good but do us good. Throughout January and February, I’ll blog my tips for living your life; employing a modicum of consciousness into your daily nourishment; and opting out of chronic and tortuous calorie counting along the way.

I guarantee you’ll feel healthier, have more energy and, should you so desire, lose weight in the process. Unless, unlike me, you’ve somehow seen the light and don’t subscribe to our skinny = success cultural diktat.


Orange, almond & chocolate cake

Posted in: DF, Featured, S, SF, V, WF

This is one of my all time favourite recipes: uber moist; sophisticatedly sweet and tangy; distinctively almondy. A cake for grown ups. Commonly used in Spanish and Moorish cakes, almonds bring so much more to the party than Bulk Out Flour, and they taste better. They’re filling, good for us, moist in baking and gluten free. The swapping of sugar for Agave is a trick I’m a tiny bit pleased with. Options are also given for sugar and Stevia (saccharine barf) FYI, though my preference on both taste and waistline would be Agave.

You can lose the choc drops for a more traditional recipe which is also sugar and dairy free. This cake is so devoid of bad stuff, in fact, you can even use it as an energy and protein pick me up for fitness training. I’ve baked in tartan cups as a nod to Edinburgh’s Brew Lab inspiration from last week.




3 medium oranges
4 tbsp Agave / 3 tbsp Stevia / 300g tbsp caster sugar
400g ground almonds
4 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp dark choc chips

For the syrup

2 oranges, juice of
2 tbsp Agave / 1 tbsp Stevia / 100g sugar


Preheat oven to 180C / 350F / Gas 4. Grease and line a 25cm springform cake tin with greaseproof paper. Alternatively, you can make 8 – 10 individual cakes with muffin moulds or ANTA ovenproof cups.

Clean oranges, cover with water in a saucepan, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10 mins. Cut into quarters, removing the seeds.

Transfer to a food processor (retaining the peel!) and blitz with 4 tbsp of the Agave or 300g sugar for about 30 secs. Add almonds, eggs and baking powder and puree for a few seconds before scraping down the sides and blitzing again until smooth – approx. 10 secs.

Fold through the choc chips and transfer into your greased tin. Bake for 50 or so mins. If opting for the muffin-sized cakes, cook for 20 mins. A knife should come out moist. Set your cake aside in the tin or cups for 10 mins.


Bring the syrup ingredients to the boil and simmer until the sauce starts to thicken. Prick the cake/s all over with a skewer and pour over the syrup. Leave to soak up all the juices.

Once cooled, remove and serve on a plate, or directly from your ANTA cups. Dollop with double cream.

The almonds will keep this cake moist for several days. In fact, it will go moldy before it goes stale. As an added bonus, almonds are also a Seducer, check out their charms here.

Mango, cardamom & lime lassi

Posted in: LF, S, SF, Uncategorized, V, WF

Lassis are essentially Indian yoghurt smoothies. This recipe’s a guaranteed brunch addition winner, plus a healthy breakfast or dessert to have on the go. Sweeter and richer in flavour, Alphonso mangoes are King. In season from March to June in South Indian – see what I did there? Seamless link to recent travel pick posts: Holy Cow: Kerala. You can pick up a box from most veg stalls and Asian communities, along with some supermarkets. Sub with any other mangoes if you can’t get The King.

Makes: 1 ltr. Feeds: 4



3 Alphonso mangoes
750g natural yoghurt
20 pods cardamom, ground, husks removed
1 lime, juice of
50 – 100ml water, depending on preference


Peel and chop mangoes, discarding skins and stones, though it would be a waste not to suck the latter before binning…!

Blend mango flesh in a mixer or with stick blender. Add yoghurt, cardamom and lime and mix.

Depending on the thickness of your yoghurt, I like to add iced water until I get a pourable, smoothie consistency. You may prefer to keep thick, however.

Decant into a jug and serve alongside brunch (Corn fritters?) in mini glasses.

For more of seductive mango’s health benefits, click on the Seducers page or type mango into the Search box.

PP: Kj/cal: 1084/259, Pr: 13.1g, Fat: 6.9g, Sat Fat: 3.3g, Carb: 39.2g, OwS: 30.23, Salt: 0.4g


Seasonal Seducer: Mango

Posted in: Uncategorized

Most attractive features

King of fruits, mango is rich in dietary fibre, Vitamins A, C & E, potassium, minerals, and antioxidants. It lowers blood pressure and cholesterol and really does help us see in the dark (thank you, Vitamin A).

Why we fell in love

Because it tastes so good it really shouldn’t have any health benefits what so ever. Mango is also found to protect against leukemia, colon, prostate and breast cancers. It’s even said to clear pores when used externally. There appears to be no end to The King’s talents…

Tom’s chocolate nut brownie brick

Posted in: N, SF, V

I first tasted these at our winter street food pop-up and have harangued Tom for the recipe ever since. Relentlessly. So much more than a brownie, they’re rich, indulgent and utterly seductive.

Tom's Choc Brownie Brick


200g unsalted butter
250g 72% dark chocolate
250g 51% chocolate
300g caster sugar
4 eggs
150g plain flour, sifted
50 grams rasins
100g hazelnuts
1 vanilla pod, seeds only


  1. Pre-heat oven to 145 °C.
  2. Melt the butter in a ban-marie, then add the chocolate.
  3. Whisk together the suagr and eggs until pale in colour. Slowly add the sifted flour.
  4. Once fully mixed, add the raisins, hazelnuts and vanilla. Stir the chocolate to ensure smooth and fully melted.
  5. Slowly add the chocolate to the cake mix and fold together. Pour into a tray and bake at 145 °C for 20 mins, then allow to rest.

Tom likes these with peanut butter ice-cream (for the love of God!) but any variety works, as does cream. You can also swap or drop the nuts.

Tom is Exec chef at The Brewery. See more from our culinary prodigy in last week’s post Tom’s tasting masterpiece.

Gather & Gather Tom’s tasting masterpiece

Posted in: Reviews, Uncategorized

There are days when I thank the employment Gods for blessing me with a vocation that surrounds me with food, cooking and creativity. This was one of those days. I had the chore of eating my way through ten courses of culinary glee from colleague Tom Gore, Exec Chef at The Brewery. I’ll let the pictures do the talking:

Barrettia w. basil and dried olive & Strawberry granitta w. smoked milk ice cream


Tom Gore at The Brewery, London.


Oxtail, bone marrow mash & black pudding. Scallop ceviche, yuzu & flowers.

Oxtail, bone marrow mash & black pudding. With bone marrow on the side for extra measure. And scallop ceviche, yuzu & flowers. Were it not for my witnessing colleagues, I may well have licked the plates.



Military Precision Prep. The Brewery, London

Tom Gore

Chinese Scented Duck

Military precision prep. Tom leads; team follows. The guys do this for a mind boggling 800 covers.


Pudding prep

Steve's pineapple upside down cake

Pudding number two: Pineapple upside down cake. Courtesy of Head chef, Steve Connell. #yesthisiswork


Bibendum Wine Pairings

Did I mention there was booze? Tom & Team catered for over 1000 hospitality and events delegates at a Bibendum wine tasting event (also hosted at The Brewery) pre our humble supper. The lovely people from Bibendum kindly supplied us with wine to be paired with each of our ten dishes.

A tough day at the office. Hiccup.