Nutty Mint Chocolate and Banana Smoothie

 

nutty-chocolate-mint-smoothie

nutty-choc-mint-smoothie-in-hand

nutty-chocolate-mint-and-banana-smoothie

Hello! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend so far. Isn’t this warm weather uplifting?

As the afternoons have been so full of sunshine, I’ve taken to swapping my usual 4pm warm turmeric milk for a smoothie instead. By this point, the main jobs of the day have usually been done (or added to tomorrow’s to-do list), I’ve spend a good half an hour or more on my yoga mat and I’m in need of something delicious to refuel myself.

I love smoothies and I have been really getting into recipes that have a bit more texture, that you can eat with a spoon and yes, taste a bit like ice-cream! I’m quite conscious of not overloading my smoothies with too much sugary fruits and try and keep all of the ingredients to a good balance.

The recipe for this Nutty Mint Chocolate Smoothie came about by making a few tweaks to a favourite Vanilla and Banana Smoothie. Those of you who know my adoration for mint chocolate in any guise will not be surprised that this is the direction that my smoothie took!

So, for the recipe (I don’t have a fancy blender, I picked one up really cheaply in the Lidl aisle of delight last year and it’s still going strong – those Lidl go-ers, you totally know the aisle I mean right?!)

Tip – peel and freeze any old bananas and keep a stock in your freezer. They make great ice-creams and smoothie bases.

Serves one:

  • One large frozen banana
  • 200ml almond milk (preferably unsweetened)
  • 1 tbsp of smooth almond butter
  • 1 -2 fresh mint leaves (depends how minty you like things)
  • 1 tbsp of raw cacao powder

Blend it all together until it is all nice and smooth. Tip into a glass and enjoy (hopefully you’ll need a spoon)! If you want to be really fancy, you could grate some dark chocolate (>70% cocoa solids) over the top.

Let me know how you get on. H x

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Lunch With A View At Hive Beach Cafe

Lunch With A View At Hive Beach Cafe

Hive Beach Cafe

Hive Beach Cafe Deli

Whenever I tell people that I had lunch at the Hive Beach Cafe in Burton Bradstock for the first time last weekend, I am usually met with a similar sort of response; one of shock, awe and exclamations of ‘Oh we love it there, it’s one of our favourite places – did you take the dog?’

Yes it was our first trip to experience a meal at Hive, it was a beautifully sunny day and no, we didn’t take the dog! However lovely it would have been to have taken him, he was much happier playing with his doggy friends. I had visions of him slyly taking someone’s lobster off of their plate while we were deeply involved in our lunch. I would have been mortified and you might be thinking right now, that this was extremely unlikely to have happened except that it ALMOST did happen!

Mr DF was out of his seat putting another hour on the car-parking ticket and our food arrived. I was people-watching and generally day-dreaming when the most enormous Great Dane strolled past (oh my goodness, I love Great Danes – in fact after this event occurred, Mr D-F and I spent the next half an hour talking about how lovely it would be to have one in the family… sorry I’ve totally gone off point here)! So, yes, the Great Dane ambled past and was, as you can imagine, taller than the table. His head slowly turned towards me and my lunch and I am pretty sure, if it hadn’t have been for his wised-up owner and a firm grip on the lead, that he would have wolfed down my fish before I had even had a chance to take a sniff.

So you see. A close call, non?

cake while you wait

Cake while you wait for your table? Yes please!

stickered-cutlery

brownie-with-caramel-ice-cream

Every seat in the house seemed to have a wonderful view of the sea and I could have happily stayed there all day. We had fish for our main course and even though I was so full I couldn’t resist a mouthful or two of this pudding. Mr D-F ordered it and I asked the waitress, much to Mr D-F’s horror, for two spoons please! Argh! I’m the worst wife ever!

Then we had leisurely coffees and mint teas before it really was time to tear ourselves away and head back home. The most perfect day!

H x

 

What I’m Currently Reading ~ May ~ Part Two

clean cakes front cover

Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman

Clean Cakes my favourite page

 

Ooh part two! Have you been excitedly waiting?! What were your thoughts on The Knife of Never Letting Go? I’d love to know.

Not surprisingly, my second choice for May is a baking book and one that advocates using whole foods (so no gluten or refined sugar here) and it is… *drumroll

Clean Cakes by Henrietta Inman

Now this book is seriously beautiful. You may just want to just leave it lying around to become part of the decor when you’re not trying out some of the show-stopping patisseries.

However, for me, it’s not all sunshine and roses and I’ll try to explain as best I can.

I have been watching a lot of Bake-Off re-runs while I’ve been in the kitchen and they’ve been inspiring me to try out some more complicated baking and because we’re gluten free, I couldn’t turn to a conventional recipe book on French patisserie. When I came across Henrietta’s book, I was sure that this was going to solve all of my problems. Of course though (I bet you’re already steps ahead of me with this), more complicated baking comes with more complicated recipes (duh!) and usually, a greater number of ingredients.

When looking through the book I suddenly got disheartened and lost a bit of my cooking-confidence. It took me a night to sleep on it before I came to my senses and realised that this is nothing to be shied away from. I LOVE baking, so why shouldn’t I try something with a bit more finesse? Yes, I adore making muffins using only the food processor, but what about giving myself the time to create something truly special? That’s where I think this book comes in. It is the gentle nudge in the right direction to push me past my comfort zone (which was getting very comfortable, I can tell you, I mean – weekly banana bread – what’s not to love)?!

This inner conflict convinced me that I should feature this new book on today’s post, even if next week’s post is entitled ‘A Kitchen Meltdown’.

I’d love to know how you feel about more complicated recipes. Do they make you lose hope a little bit too or do you relish the challenge? Talk soon, H x

 

This post contains an affiliate link – this doesn’t affect you at all, but if people purchase from the linked shop after clicking, it might eventually cause a tiny payout to me. What would I do with it? Probably go out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake! You are welcome to join me. x

Clean Cakes and my hand

 

What I’m Currently Reading ~ May ~ Part One

What I’m Currently Reading ~ May ~ Part One

 

the knife of never letting go by patrick ness

I was so excited to write this post for you as I am extremely into my two ‘May reads’ at the moment. I’ve separated this post into two parts (the second will follow on Sunday) and when you see the books I think you’ll agree that they needed to be showcased in a blog post of their very own. Two very different books but oh, so good!

The first title is a fiction book and one that I was very glad to indulge in over the warm and sunny bank holiday weekend. Recommended to me by a friend and on Mr D-Fs list to read as soon as I’ve finished is: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness 

If I say that this book is set in a dystopian future, I don’t feel like I’m doing it justice. Many of you might leap in the air shouting, ‘Whoohoo – that sounds like the book for me!’ While others might be put off by the mere thought of it. I promise it isn’t overly sci-fi at all, it could just as well be set in another country or in another time and the setting is so gently woven into the story.

The story itself is based all around some central, wonderful characters.  The book is heartwarming, heart-wrenching and a wonderful read. Thank goodness it’s the first in a trilogy and I can indulge myself further. Argh! I don’t want to give too much away and if I say almost anything then I might spoil it for you. The best advice from me is this: hop on over to Amazon or wherever and read the proper blurb. Go on, you’ll love it. Plus, there is an adorable dog in the story and he’s my favourite.

Let me know how you get on. H x

 

This post contains an affiliate link – this doesn’t affect you at all, but if people purchase from the linked shop after clicking, it might eventually cause a tiny payout to me. What would I do with it? Probably go out for a cup of tea and a slice of cake! You are welcome to join me. x

 

Embracing My Inner Yogini

rose gold water bottle on yoga mat

Lucy Yin Yoga Teacher

the yoga lounge

Good morning and Happy Sunday!

Some of you may know that I practise yoga regularly at home. Especially on the days when I am sitting at the computer a lot editing photos and writing content, I look forward to getting out my mat in the afternoon, positioning it in the sunshine (when it’s there) and taking the time out to do some Vinyasa.  I have never been to a Yoga class in my life (or rather, had never been), possibly because I struggled to find where my favourite styles were being taught in places near to me or to find times which suited my rather haphazard timetable.

I was so excited when, a few weeks ago, the Yoga Lounge in Bournemouth invited me to join them for a morning to try out a class. I spent hours (oh yes, many, many hours) scouring their timetable trying to decide… did I feel like Aerial yoga (oh my goodness, yes I did) or hot Bikram or warming Yin. I was so tempted by the Aerial Yoga but the timings didn’t work out for me, I was not sure that I wanted to put myself through something extreme like Bikram for my first ever class and so I happily chose the warming blanket of a Yin session.

Our teacher Lucy couldn’t have made me feel more welcome. The class was busy and a wonderfully supportive atmosphere emanated from all of the Yogis and Yoginis. The studio was beautifully warm and I felt myself properly relax. After a good hour of holding positions and stretching I felt AMAZING! Honestly, I’m not over-exaggerating; it was one of the best experiences ever and if I lived a bit closer to Bournemouth I would be regularly attending that class. I felt the effects for the rest of this week, especially when practising Yoga on my own and when I went to my usual Zumba class.


miffy the dog on the counter top

miffy the dog

After the class, look who was in the reception area?! How cute is she?

The whole place has such a great vibe; dogs on the counter tops, friendly conversations and large open spaces. If you feel like trying out a new class or you are completely new to Yoga and want to see if it’s for you, I can heartily recommend The Yoga Lounge. My nerves at going to my first ever class in an unfamiliar place, pretty much disappeared the moment I walked in.

Please let me know in the comments if you have already tried out The Yoga Lounge, if you’re a regular or if you, like me, are an at home Yogini!

Have a wonderful rest of your day. H x

 

 

This post was sponsored by The Yoga Lounge, in that they invited me to join them for a morning and try out a class, however, my opinions are completely my own and my general rule is that if I don’t love something, I tend to not write about it! 

Lunch From The Sukha Lounge ~ Bournemouth

lunch from the sukha lounge

raw felafel, broccoli and cauliflower

sweet potato cake

Look what the lovely people at The Sukha Lounge left for me when I was in their vicinity last Sunday. They also had made me a matcha smoothie, which was green and frothy and delicious. I did take a photo and post it on Instagram, however, it didn’t last long enough for me to get it home to take ‘proper’ photographs – it was that good!

If you are as yet unaware of The Sukha Lounge; it is a vegan cafe which specialises in gluten-free and refined sugar-free food.  Such a perfect match for my current eating habits (I’m predominately gluten free and pretty much 100% refined sugar-free).  As they are not open on a Sunday, I took my take-away home with me for Mr D-F and I to share for lunch.

Our meal comprised of raw falafels (I’ve never had falafels raw before but these were so good), kale and mango salad with some raw broccoli and cauliflower, along with some zingy humous, which was amazing. For pudding, we had a slice of sweet potato cake, which I was expecting to be a strange consistency but it tasted like an in-between mix of chocolate cake and chocolate mousse. A combination I am very much in favour of!

I will definitely be going back to The Sukha Lounge on a day that it is open and after having another dreamy, green smoothie, I can’t wait to see what else is on the menu.

x

This post was sponsored by The Sukha Lounge, in that they gave me a free lunch, however, my opinions are completely my own and my general rule is that if I don’t love something, I tend to not write about it! 

 

My Newest Haunt (Yes It’s A Place With Food)!

the interior of Joshuas in Sturminster Newton Dorset

lemon and amaretto biscotti

coffee and walnut cake

a worried looking Miles

You are completely forgiven if you think that my life almost completely revolves around food (well, it does a bit) or that I spend the majority of my time, going out to eat cake and drink tea. There are two explanations for this; firstly, the weather has, once again, turned dismal and if I don’t get out and do something I can end up being marooned at home by the rain. Secondly, I am on a mission to discover as many Dorset places and events as possible and where better to start than the county’s myriad of wonderful cafes and tea shops.

The weather was so utterly wet on Friday that my friend and I (and her gorgeous son, Miles) took off to Sturminster Newton to seek a warm refuge in Joshua’s cafe. It is such a friendly, relaxed place to go. You receive a lovely welcome (from Joshua himself) and their cakes and chai lattes are delicious. We had heaps of coffee and walnut cake, pots of tea, chai lattes and it didn’t take much persuading for us to try their amaretto and lemon biscotti.  Miles was more interested in chewing the head of his squeaky giraffe than in our treats, but he did spend a fair amount of time covering a large radius of space around us in home-made sweet potato muffins and pea fritters.

If you are out near Stur and feel like enjoying a calm cup of tea without feeling hassled, head for Joshua’s… and if you see me (probably with empty tea cups surrounding me), please come and say hi!

x

Ooh, and I need to add… if you have any interesting suggestions for my next excursion, please drop them in a comment below. H x