Friday, April 26, 2013

This Winters Healthy Comforts

Hello all, 

Today's guest blogger is Michalah Francis who hails from Cape Town. She blogs over at My Style Memories, so do check her out. 

It is almost, (and I say that lightly) winter over here, and Michalah knows just what a girl needs to get through some of these winter days. Check it out. 

This Winters Healthy Comforts

In summer there was a fruit overload, health smoothies, organic fruit juice and iced lemon water was all that I drank and there was no shortage of salads in my life. Healthy eating just seemed so easy in summer, but now with the fast approaching winter I seem to be stoking up on the carbs and I'm excited about spending my cold days with hot chocolate and marshmallows. 

I'm sure many can relate to this, it’s a wet, cold weekend and you decide to stay in and re-watch all your favourite movies. Slowly but surely, as that movie marathon continues, so does the snacks your “nibbling” on, they continue to pile up in front of you, and before you know it there’s wrappers and papers everywhere. You’ll feel guilty for about 5 minutes but then a few weeks later this scene will repeat itself, and you’ll be comforted by the idea that you can hide any KG’s gained under layers of winter clothing. And as welcoming and cozy as this idea might sound, most of us will regret this winter binge when summer comes knocking.

When food is involved regrets is what we want to avoid as food is not the enemy. Instead, food is the best friend who we all need. This winter I have decided to beat the binge and climb back on my healthy horse. How? By making my own winter comfort foods! 

Allow me to introduce you to a good friend of mine, the Banana and Berry Oats Bake.

I love this recipe for multiple reasons. The most obvious reason being that it’s healthy and the oats keeps you full for longer, preventing unnecessary snacking. This bake lasts for about a week as the recipe makes a large portion. The bake could be eaten for breakfast, saving time and energy because nobody really likes preparing breakfast on a cold winter morning. With this bake it’s simply reheat and enjoy. It could also be a dessert topped with some of your favourite treats; my personal favourite topping is plain yoghurt. 

What you’ll need:
-          1 large baking dish
-          2 banana’s
-          2 cups of berries. Because I like variety, I used 1 cup of gooseberries and 1 cup of 
           raspberries. This choice is really up to you.
-          1 cup of uncooked oats
-          ½ cup of raw, sliced nuts. I used almonds as they are a favourite and blend well with the 
-          ¾ tablespoon of cinnamon
-          ½ tsp of baking powder
-          1 cup of coconut milk. Here you could use any milk of your choice, the coconut milk just 
           makes it more delicious.
-          1 egg
-          1 tsp vanilla extract
-          Pinch of salt


-Preheat your oven to 180° C
-Spray your baking dish with a non-stick cooking spray.
-Slice the banana’s and then line the bottom of the dish. Top the banana’s with just over half of the berries which you have decide to use and then add ¼ of the cinnamon.

 -Cover this with foil and bake it in the oven for 15 minutes. 
-While the bananas and berries are baking, you now mix the other ingredients.
-So in a different bowl mix together the oats, nuts, rest of the cinnamon, baking powder and salt
- In a second bowl mix together the egg, milk and vanilla.

-When the 15 minutes are over, remove the dish from the oven.
-Now put your dry ingredients over the baked bananas, berries and cinnamon.
-Next you pour the wet mix on top of that.
-On top of this, place the rest of your berries.

 -Now bake at 180°C for 45 minutes

 Allow it to cool and enjoy!

The best thing about this recipe is that it can so easily be changed.
-If you’d like the final outcome to be crisper keep the bake in the oven for up to 30 minutes longer.
-For a bake that’s perfect for breakfast 30 minutes in the oven will be perfect.
-You could serve the bake with yogurt, ice cream, or any topping of your choice.
-The bake should be stored in the fridge and just reheated as you please.

Happy Baking!


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