Category Archives: Recipes

Mackerel Carbonara

Now this recipe, it’s not a combination that instantly springs to mind, in fact I remember Gregg being dubious when we cooked this on Eat Well for less. … however it works. This is a great way to get oily fish back on the menu for family meals.

Oily fish is such a important food to try and incorporate into your weekly meal planning due to the omega 3 content. Omega 3’s are a essential fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects, can help with brain health, cognitive function, heart health and even asthma.

I hope you enjoy the recipe – do make sure to turn off the heat before adding in the sauce of the yoghurt will curdle. 

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SMOKED MACKEREL CARBONARA

Ingredients

  • 450 g spaghetti
  • 2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 400 g greek yoghurt
  • 4 eggs
  • 60 g parmesan cheese finely grated
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 medium courgettes grated
  • 350 g boneless smoked mackerel skin removed and flaked
  • 240 g baby spinach
  • 1 small bunch flat leaf parsley roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, add the spaghetti and stir well.  Simmer for 12-15 minutes until cooked.

  2. While the pasta cooks, prepare the sauce. Whisk together the horseradish sauce, yoghurt, eggs and parmesan. Season with black pepper.

  3. Heat a large pan until medium hot, add the oil and stir fry the courgette for 2 minutes until it has started to soften.

  4. Add the smoked mackerel, mix well then cook for another minute. Stir in the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until wilted down.

  5. Turn the heat off (to prevent curdling), add the horseradish and yoghurt mixture into the pan. Stir really quickly until mixed throughout the courgettes and mackerel. 

  6. Drain the pasta and tip straight into the pan, with about 100ml of the cooking water, then stir until totally covered in the sauce.

  7. Serve straight away with the parsley scattered over the top.

Veggie Croquettes

After making these I was named the Empress of Veggies by the one and only Gregg Wallace, so I felt I had to share this recipe! It is a little messy to make (make sure you squeeze the fluid out of the veggies) but those dips combined with the croquettes = heaven. 

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Veggie Croquettes

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4
Author Eat Well for Less

Ingredients

  • 200 g cauliflower coarsely grated
  • 200 g sweet potato peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2 medium carrots peeled and coarsely grated (200g)
  • 1 medium courgette coarsely grated (200g)
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch parsley picked and roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp onion granules
  • 100 g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas mark 6. Line a large shallow baking tray with parchment paper.
  2. Place all the grated vegetables into a large bowl and mix together. Add the remaining ingredients and mix really well, squishing it all together until evenly mixed. Set aside to soften for 15 minutes.
  3. Mix once more then divide into 8 in the bowl, then take each portion and form into two little sausages. Place onto the lined baking tray then repeat with the remaining mixture to form 16 sausages.
  4. Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes until the vegetables are tender and the croquette golden brown on the outside, .
  5. While the croquettes bake, prepare the dips.

 

 

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Pea guacamole

Author Eat Well for Less

Ingredients

  • 240 g frozen peas
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli seeded and very roughly chopped
  • 1 lime zested and juiced
  • ½ small bunch coriander very roughly chopped
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for the pea guacamole into a large food processor and pulse until just broken down, then scrape the sides of the processor down. Blitz until just beginning to get smooth - you want a little texture left. Tip into a serving bowl and taste
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Sweetcorn Salsa

Ingredients

  • 240 g tinned sweetcorn
  • 4 tomatoes chopped
  • 4 spring onions chopped
  • ½ small bunch coriander chopped
  • ½ lime juiced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients for the sweetcorn salsa into bowl and mix well then tip into a serving bowl.

I hope you enjoy making these and it gets you eating more veggies! 

Bacon, Chard and Rosemary Pasta

Swiss chard is such an easy veggie to grow and it gives you back time after time. Plant a few seeds, water and care for a few plants lovingly and you will find you always have bountiful supply. 

Some interesting chard facts.

  • Swiss chard was discovered by a Swiss botanist – hence it’s name.  
  • It is a member of the goosefoot family, called this due to the leaves looking like a goose foot.
  • Chard is packed with nutrition including vitamins A,C, K plus magnesium, potassium, iron and fibre.

So the question is what to do with it? The great news is it goes in virtually everything. I’ve added baby leaves to smoothies, savoury muffins and scones. Then use it like you would spinach in dhal, stir fry and omelette. Or wash it and freeze, I’m totally up for an easy life and don’t cook it before freezing. I find it works fine to add to casseroles and other meals where you add as it cooks.

One of the easy summer recipes I sometimes pull out the back of my mind when the chard patch and my mind are overflowing, and I need to cook but also need a break – this chard and pasta dish. It works so well. The rosemary gives it a warm lift and the bacon adds the saltiness, plus it means my children eat it. Now my boy isn’t a fan of his greens, but will eat this meal all up. It goes to show sometimes it is what a food is paired with that matters.

I let my children decide their own portions of this meal and eat according to appetite. My eldest girl after a busy day at school had seconds, my boy cleared his plate and was satisfied. My toddler ate off my plate too! 

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Bacon, Chard and Rosemary Pasta

Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4

Ingredients

  • 150 g bacon chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 200 g chard leave it whole
  • 150 g mushrooms chopped
  • seasoning
  • 300 g pasta

Instructions

  1. Chop up the bacon, remove the fat and heat a non stick pan. Then cook the bacon for a few minutes.

  2. Add the rosemary and garlic, stir round to release the the flavours.

  3. Next add the chopped tomatoes and allow to come to a simmer.

  4. Cook the pasta.

  5. Wash the chard, chop any huge leaves. Place into the pan and allow it to wilt down.

  6. Chop the mushrooms and add these to the pan, allow the sauce to simmer for 5 minutes then turn off the heat and put the lid on. 

  7. When the pasta is ready mix the sauce in and serve.

Gingerbread energy balls

One of the questions I get asked a lot is for healthy snack ideas. Walking around the shops there is a plethora of snack items but so many of them are expensive items that you can make yourself in batches with a little knowhow and patience. Energy balls are one such item. Often sold for £1.50-£1 a portion, these can be made a lot cheaper at home. See my analysis below.  Whilst there are a lot of energy ball recipes out there on the internet this one is so delicious that I had to share it. I love having snacks  like these to hand for instant snacking and even better, these freeze well. My boy also loves making these with me.

Perfect mid morning snack for me between clients and an afternoon snack for the kids at a much better cost than buying from the shops.

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Gingernut Energy Balls

Ingredients

  • 100 g unsalted cashew nuts
  • 100 g dates
  • 25 5 oats
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

Recipe Notes

Blitz up the cashews, oats and dates in a food processor or grinder. I do this in batches as my grinder is smalll. You may need to stop grinding and stir it around a bit from time to time.

Put the mixture into a bowl, add in the ginger and stir.

Now roll into balls and roll in the sesame seeds (if wanted).

Store in a tin, the fridge or freeze.

 

Costing = £2.20 for 10 balls (5 portions for an adult)

100g cashews £1.10

100g dates 66p

25g oats 27p

1 tbsp sesame seeds 9p

1 tsp ginger 8p

 

Quick, Tasty Beef Stir Fry – Eat Well for Less

Stir Fry is one of those meals we make a lot at home. It is fast food, easy to make and satisying. This one, made on Eat Well for Less uses frying steak which is quick to cook due to it’s thinness and cheaper than other cuts.  Top tip – you don’t want to overcook this so having all your ingredients pre chopped and ready for action is a good idea.

This is one of those recipes you can make your own. Adding bamboo shoots and beansprouts would give it a nice Chinese style touch, or add any other veggies you have.

Use gluten free soy sauce  and stock cube to make this a gluten free meal.

Red meat is important for iron and zinc intake, something that we know is an issue for teenage girls and young women. This can then be exacerbated if you become pregnant. So whilst red meat is sometimes frowned upon, this recipe provides a great way to include it in your weeks meal plan.

I’ve modified it from the version on the show, scaling it down to serve 4 people rather than 6. 

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Easy Beef Stir Fry

Servings 4 adults

Ingredients

  • 300 g basmati rice
  • 1/2 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 400 g frying steak
  • 1/2 tsp cornflour
  • 40 g cashew nuts
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thumb sized piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1/2 vegetable stock cube
  • 1 small bunch coriander
  • pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the rice. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the  basmati, stir well then cook according to the packet instructions.


  2. Heat a wok over a high heat until hot, add half the oil and when it’s just smoking, add the beef. Sprinkle with cornflour and stir-fry until browned all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.


  3. Stir-fry the cashews until just golden-brown then set aside with the beef.


  4. Carefully wipe the wok until clean using kitchen roll. Bring to a high heat and add the remaining oil. Once hot, add the red onion and fry for 1–2 minutes, or until just soft. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for a minute


  5. Half fill the kettle and bring to the boil. Add the broccoli, soy and oyster sauce to the wok and mix well. Add the vegetable stock cube with 400ml/14fl oz boiling water and bring to the boil, stirring well. Cover with a lid (use kitchen foil if you don't have a suitable pan lid) and cook for 2 minutes or until the broccoli is just tender (you don’t want to lose the bright green colour).


  6. Add in beansprouts, bamboo shoots if wanted at this stage.



  7. Stir the cooked beef and cashews through the sauce and heat for a minute. Scatter over the coriander and serve immediately with the cooked, drained rice.

Eat Well for Less: Healthier cheesecakes.

Cheesecake. It’s tasty, but it can be pretty high in calories. Now whilst I totally do not advocate calorie counting regularly, I do like having healthier alternatives to foods like this that mean I can make them without it being an extravagance.

So here is the much asked for recipe for those cheesecakes we made on Eat Well for Less. I made this for Christmas and it made a great lighter dessert.

Here is the video clip of Gregg, Chris and I in action making it.

 

Here is the recipe in all it’s glory.

Healthier Cheese Cakes
Yields 12
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
174 calories
14 g
59 g
11 g
4 g
5 g
53 g
93 g
7 g
0 g
5 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
53g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 174
Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 5g
26%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 59mg
20%
Sodium 93mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 14g
5%
Dietary Fiber 1g
5%
Sugars 7g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
8%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  2. 60g/2¼oz honey
  3. 120g/4½oz porridge oats, gluten-free, if required
  4. ½ tsp ground mixed spice
  5. 300g/10½oz fat-free Greek-style yoghurt
  6. 300g/10½oz lighter cream cheese
  7. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  8. ½ lemon, zest only
  9. 1 tbsp stevia
  10. 1 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  11. 1 tbsp cornflour
  12. 2 free-range eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 170C/150C Fan/Gas 3½. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin tin with some oil.
  2. Put the remaining oil and honey into a saucepan, heat until warm and runny.
  3. Remove from the heat and stir in the oats and mixed spice until completely coated.
  4. Divide the oats between the muffin tin holes, pressing down on the mixture to make a solid base.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the yoghurt, cream cheese, vanilla extract, lemon zest, stevia, sugar and cornflour. Mix the eggs into the cream until smooth. Spoon evenly between the muffin holes on top of the oats.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes or until just set. (They should still wobble a little.) Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. Carefully remove the cheesecakes from the tin and top with fruit of your choice.
  8. Serve immediately or transfer to a sealed container and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Notes
  1. Truvia is fine to use in this recipe or you could swap the Stevia for another sweetener of your choice.
Adapted from BBC Food
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calories
174
fat
11g
protein
4g
carbs
14g
more
Adapted from BBC Food
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
A word of caution – these are portion controlled but very tasty, so you need 11 friends to share them with 😉 

Eat Well for Less: Ham and Cheese Bites

Everyone is always after quick, nutritious, filling snacks. So this one shared on Eat Well for Less ticks all those boxes. 

If you want to give these a go here is the recipe, you can totally make this your own, add your favourite herbs, veggies etc. These are gluten free, dairy free (if you use dairy free cheese) and nut free.

These freeze well or keep them in the fridge for 3 days. I think they are fab for packed lunches.

Don’t forget to watch the rest of the series – BBC1 Thursdays 8pm. Or get it on BBC Iplayer.

Ham and Cheese Quinoa Bites
Yields 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
20 min
159 calories
13 g
111 g
7 g
11 g
3 g
144 g
188 g
2 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
144g
Yields
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 159
Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 7g
11%
Saturated Fat 3g
16%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 111mg
37%
Sodium 188mg
8%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 2g
Protein 11g
Vitamin A
16%
Vitamin C
16%
Calcium
11%
Iron
9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 180g quinoa, cooked in water and left to cool
  2. 6 spring onions, chopped
  3. 6 tomatoes, chopped
  4. 6 eggs
  5. 1 tsp mustard powder
  6. 120g ham, chopped
  7. 120g grated cheese
Instructions
  1. Cook the quinoa and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6.
  3. Chop the veggies, ham and grate the cheese
  4. Break the eggs into a bowl, beat.
  5. Mix all ingredients together and stir well.
  6. Grease a muffin tin.
  7. Spoon the mix in then heap it up on the top, making mountains.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes.
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calories
159
fat
7g
protein
11g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

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Eat Well for Less: Lentil Curry and Naan.

 
So a lot of people have been asking for the recipe for the lentil curry and naan after it was shown on Eat well for less, Series 5, Episode 1. If you haven’t seen then do pop to BBC Iplayer and have a look. We are back on this Thursday too, BBC1  8pm, please tune in! 
 
Firstly a huge Thankyou if you watched. Please do watch the remaining series too there is so much good stuff to come!
 
Secondly it’s music to my ears to know so many were loving the lentils. I’m half Sri-Lankan so this is very much “my type of food”.
 
The BBC made a fab video with the ingredients for the lentil curry.
Do check it out and if you follow my Dietitian UK Facebook and Instagram I will repost any further recipes from the show.
 
The naan recipe cooked on the show, has not been shared yet but I here is a version that I love just as much, made at home for you, as so many people have been asking. Flatbreads and naan are so easy to make and a joy to eat.
 
Homemade flatbread/naan
Serves 4
Easy to make, super delicious with curry
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Prep Time
5 min
Prep Time
5 min
139 calories
29 g
0 g
0 g
4 g
0 g
51 g
2 g
0 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
51g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139
Calories from Fat 4
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
1%
Saturated Fat 0g
0%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 2mg
0%
Total Carbohydrates 29g
10%
Dietary Fiber 1g
6%
Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
1%
Calcium
3%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 150g flour (can be gluten free, I favour a mix of 100g white flour and 50g wholemeal for extra fibre)
  2. 50g Greek Yoghurt
  3. 50ml warm Water
  4. 1 tbsp mixed herbs or 1 tsp spices
Instructions
  1. Mix the flour and yoghurt together.
  2. Add the herbs/spices now if you remember, if not then can be added at the kneading stage.
  3. Add the water and mix to a dough.
  4. Tip onto a floured surface and knead for just a couple of minutes.
  5. Break into 4 pieces, roll into a round and roll out with a rolling pin.
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calories
139
fat
0g
protein
4g
carbs
29g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/

Here is the dough ready for rolling. I added a herb mixture into these.

Cook in a non stick hot pan on a medium-high heat. After a couple of minutes it will start to puff up, that is when you turn it over.

Enjoy! 

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Family friendly “not a chicken curry”

Usually my children are not so keen on curry, however being half Sri-lankan this is not an option for me! My oldest girl used to eat a lot of spice, in fact at 22 months in Sri-Lanka she was eating curry off my plate. She went off spice and is now age 7 working back onto it. My boy has never been into anything spicy and so he is definitely a work in progress.

So this time I went at it from another angle. A fragrant but mild curry served with rice and optional naan on the side. However I sold it as “it’s not a curry, it’s chicken with naan”.  It worked. WIN.

The beauty of this meal is it can either be made in the slow cooker/crock pot or on the hob.

Here is the recipe:

Family Friendly Chicken and Naan
Serves 4
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504 calories
39 g
115 g
17 g
48 g
7 g
454 g
363 g
14 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
454g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 504
Calories from Fat 147
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 17g
26%
Saturated Fat 7g
33%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 115mg
38%
Sodium 363mg
15%
Total Carbohydrates 39g
13%
Dietary Fiber 12g
49%
Sugars 14g
Protein 48g
Vitamin A
192%
Vitamin C
141%
Calcium
7%
Iron
25%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  2. 500g chicken on the bone, skinless
  3. 2 onions
  4. 2 cloves garlic
  5. 2 peppers
  6. 3 carrots
  7. 500ml chicken stock (mine was homemade)
  8. 50g sachet creamed coconut
  9. 1 tsp tumeric
  10. 1 tsp cumin
  11. 1 tsp coriander
  12. 1/4 inch fresh/frozen ginger, grated
  13. 1/2 cup dried lentils
Instructions
  1. Brown the chicken in a pan. Add the onions and garlic to soften them.
  2. Then either place all ingredients in a slow cooker/crock pot and place on high for 8 hrs.
  3. Or cook in a large pan on a medium heat for 40 minutes.
  4. Serve with rice and naan if wanted.
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calories
504
fat
17g
protein
48g
carbs
39g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/
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Peanut Butter Cookies and Smart Snacking.

Snacking sensibly for me is a must. I need bucket loads of reliable energy to get me through my day. An average day for me involves 3 kids, much pilates and 1-2-1 dietetic clients. I don’t sit still for long, so crashing mid afternoon is not an option, especially as that’s the school run and my hungry time of day. So one thing I teach my clients and work on myself is balancing my snacks.

Yes fruit is fabulous, however it doesn’t keep me full for long or sustain my energy. So I pair it with protein or a wholegrain, higher fibre carb. Or if I’m feeling outrageous, I mix all three.  For me it is not about the calories or the macro’s but the balance. 

Satiety is the feeling of fullness that persists after eating. It affects the length of time between eating events and possibly the amount of energy consumed at the next. Protein  is filling and can help stabilise blood sugars. Fibre rich foods require more chewing so psychologically take longer to eat, they can displace other energy rich food and slow gastric emptying. 

Some of my favs:
Apple, cheese and oatcakes
Dried apricots, almonds and 25g dark chocolate
Oatcakes with nut butter and banana

Then there are these peanut butter cookies. Perfect with fruit and they take just 10 mins to bake. These make me feel like the perfect mum on those days I manage to whip the mix up before the school run and have them ready 10 mins after the kids walk in the door! Better still the kids can make them – I haven’t let them loose on this recipe yet.

 

Peanut Butter Cookies
Yields 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
175 calories
13 g
23 g
11 g
7 g
2 g
38 g
75 g
5 g
0 g
9 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
38g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 175
Calories from Fat 98
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
17%
Saturated Fat 2g
10%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 4g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 23mg
8%
Sodium 75mg
3%
Total Carbohydrates 13g
4%
Dietary Fiber 3g
11%
Sugars 5g
Protein 7g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
4%
Iron
6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 100g peanut butter
  2. 150g granola
  3. 1 egg
  4. 1/2 tsp baking powder
Instructions
  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Bake at Gas Mark 5 for 10 minutes.
  3. Store in an airtight tin, they are best eaten on the day.
Notes
  1. I used my own homemade granola (recipe on the blog) which is wheat free and gluten free if you tolerate oats or use gluten free oats.
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calories
175
fat
11g
protein
7g
carbs
13g
more
Dietitian UK https://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/