As regular readers would already know, I’ve given up Refined Sugar for lent. Yes, I am crazy. It’s Day 6 as I’m writing this and I haven’t got any cravings yet, and I’m crossing my fingers that they don’t make an appearance. I’m not finding it too difficult this time around. I was making Breakfast on Sunday morning and came across 2 very ripe bananas and wondered whether I could make a Sugar Free Banana Loaf by adapting my recipe. Well I gave it a go, with a lot of guess work on the ingredients and it actually turned out really well. I thought it was only fair to share the recipe with you in case anyone else if trying to limit their sugar intake.

This is naturally sweetened with bananas and honey. I have used an extra banana and have also swapped the butter for coconut oil to make this a little healthier. You can use 110g butter if you’d rather. I have also added natural vanilla and cinnamon to sweeten.

Sugar Free Banana Loaf

Ingredients: 

Makes 1 Loaf

110g coconut oil (melted)

120g honey

2 medium eggs

200g plain flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

 60ml milk

3 ripe bananas (mashed)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

Method:

Preparation: 10 minutes | Baking: 1 hour 20 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 180°c/160°c fan. Grease and line a loaf tin.

2. Melt your coconut oil in the microwave to ensure the mixture doesn’t go lumpy. Add this to a bowl with your eggs, honey, vanilla and milk and stir until combined.

3. Add the dry ingredients and bananas to the mixture and stir again.

4. Pour the mixture in to your prepared loaf tin. Place in the oven for 1 hour 20 minutes, checking at regular intervals after 50 minutes. Bake until golden brown and a skewer/knife comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Will you be baking this Sugar Free Banana Loaf? Do you have any Sugar Free recipes to share?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Following on from my Bathroom Renovation post a couple of weeks ago. The other part of the house we’re currently planning is the Garden. The Garden Renovation has been something we’ve been meaning to start for a while, but it’s just seemed that everything else is much more important. Although the Garden is important to me personally, we needed to sort somewhere to eat, sleep and wash first. The Garden definitly wasn’t a high priority. But now the rest of the house is almost completed, apart from the Bathroom of course, it’s time to get planning the Garden. And I’m adamant I’m going to be out there on a gorgeous patio with a cup of tea in one hand and a book in the other by the time the Summer comes.

The House Renovation - Garden Renovation

garden-renovation

As you can see, the garden is quite a mess. It’s been neglected since we moved in – using it as a dumping ground whilst we’ve been renovating the rest of the house. It’s not a big garden whatsoever but we have some really nice plans to make is something special. Somewhere we can enjoy spending time on a hot summers day. I can just imagine it now. We’ve cleared it up a little bit since moving in. Removing the old “decking” and just having a general tidy up. We’ve now got rid of the metal shed too.

At first we wanted to have decking but the more we’ve thought about it the more put off we’ve been. Our neighbours have said the drainage isn’t very good which would mean it would get quite waterlogged. With decking being prone to rotting and requiring quite a lot of upkeep we thought better of it. A patio would be a much better idea, requiring almost no upkeep whatsoever. I’ve been having a look for the patio slabs and I like this sort of style. And definitly a grey colour.

We’re not going to make any flower beds as such, instead we’re going to fill the patio with gorgeous plant pots. Although we have considered building a wall like this photo at a later date. I am wanting to make my own little vegetable garden though. I really like the idea of growing my own vegetables such as lettuce, peppers and cucumber. I’m going to get a little “pop-up” greenhouse and give it a go, I bought lots of seeds from Lidl on the weekend. I just need to wait for it to warm up a little.

As far as Garden Furniture goes, this is going to be the main feature of our patio. Somewhere we can sit and relax on a Sunday morning, or entertain guests for a weekend BBQ. I like the idea of the Rattan furniture sets, these would look perfect in the corner where the shed was. That area gets lots of light too. We’ve also thought about putting a nice bench underneath the window but we don’t want to clutter it up too much as it’s only a small space. We have all of the recycling boxes currently sitting right outside the main door too so we’re going to by a nice little bin storage so we can disguise this.

We like the idea of a Chiminea for those colder Summer nights. As well as a BBQ to sit in the corner. I really like the idea of having BBQs in the summer, even if it’s just the two of us. Oh I’m getting all excited for Summer writing this, we need to get cracking though if we want to have the Garden Renovation finished by the time the sun makes an appearance.

What do you think of our ideas for the Garden Renovation? I’d love to hear your ideas too.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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Collaborative post. As always opinions are 100% my own. Please see my disclaimer for more information.

If you follow me on Twitter you will already know that I’m giving up Refined Sugar for lent. Or at least trying to. I challenge myself each and every year and have done for as long as I remember. Giving up biting my nails at the age of 4, or chocolate at the age of 6 or Facebook in my teenage years. My Mum can probably tell me some other strange things I’ve given up over the years too. I always set myself a good challenge. And most of the time I succeed.

Giving Up Refined Sugar For Lent

A couple of years ago I managed to give up refined sugars, and my gosh did I feel good for it. I lost weight, my skin cleared and I had so much more energy. I curse myself every day that I let myself slip back into my old ways, as I really did feel fantastic. I’m hoping this time I can make some more long-term lifestyle changes.

We have our own house this year which will hopefully make things a little easier. I did a big food shop on Sunday morning, filling the cupboards with ingredients to cook from scratch. And filling my snack basket with mainly savoury snacks and fruits. I’ve been planning meals for the duration, mostly ones that I can make ahead of time, meaning I’m not slaving away in the kitchen for hours when I get home from work.

To quickly define what I mean by “refined sugars”. I mean any sugars that have been added to foods and not naturally occurring. And those “no added sugar” claims on drinks/snacks don’t mean a thing. They’re filled with artificial sweeteners which in the case of Aspartame in particular, do more harm than eating the sugar in the first place. I will not be eating anything that has any form of sugars or artificial sweeteners on the label. Whether that’s sugar itself, dextrose, fructose syrup, maltose, caramel syrup and everything else that sugar is disguised as in foods.

I’m hoping giving up refined sugar makes me aware of what goes into our foods. Whilst looking for sugar content I’m sure to notice the other rubbish that is put into processed foods, making me more likely to cook from scratch. Although I’ll still be eating a few “convenience foods” I’m sure these will be limited considerably. I’ve planned lots of hearty meals, from lentil hotpots, to smokey bean enchiladas and creamy tomato gnocchi. And many many more.

Over the 6 weeks you’ll be getting lots of “sugar free” content from me.

  • Sugar Free Snacks
  • Healthy Lunch Ideas
  • Quick Evening Meals
  • Health/Body Updates
  • Sugar Free Baking
  • Eating Out Sugar Free
  • Skin/Acne Updates
  • Sugar Free Meals “on-the-go”

And much much more so please make sure you subscribe or follow me on Social Media if you’re interested in this content. Of course I’ll still have my regular content and have Easter Baking posts scheduled throughout March so you won’t be missing out on those.

I’d love to hear from anyone who’s tried giving up refined sugar before, or managed to give it up completely. It would be good to share tips/recipes/ideas.

Have you ever considered Giving Up Refined Sugar? I’d love for you to join me on this challenge.

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!
You can find all of my social media links in the sidebar. I am @AmiRoseBlog on everything.

This is the second time I’ve made this Flapjacks Recipe over the last couple of weeks. The first time they’d all disappeared before I had a chance to take a photo of them so they must have been good. I still haven’t taken the photos as I write this but I’ve hidden this batch from the cake thieves so I’m able to take photos this evening. Flapjacks are one of my favourite “sweet treats”. We have Millionaire Flapjacks in our Charity Sweet Box at work – a recipe that I’m going to try to recreate at some point as they are divine. I’ve used Pumpkin Seeds for this Flapjacks Recipe but you can fill with anything. Currants, mixed seeds, cherries, chocolate or leave them plain.

pumpkin seed flapjacks recipe

Ingredients:

Makes 8 (large) Flapjacks

120g butter

100g golden syrup

100g demerara/golden caster sugar

 50g pumpkin seeds

250g porridge oats

1/2 tsp cinamon

Method:

Preparation: 10 minutes | Baking: 25 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 190c (170c fan). Grease and line a baking tin.

2. Place the golden syrup, butter and sugar in a large pan over a low heat, stirring continuously until dissolved. Remove from the heat.

3. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and stir until well combined.

4. Pour the mixture into your prepared baking tin, pressing down firmly with the back of a wooden spoon. Bake for 25 minutes until starting to brown. Leave to cool then cut into rectangles/squares depending on the size you require.

Enjoy…

I’d love to see your photos if you have a go at making this Flapjacks Recipe. Have you seen last week’s Peanut Butter Cookies?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

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You can find all of my social media links in the sidebar. I am @AmiRoseBlog on everything.

When Taffy Mail got in touch asking if I wanted to try and create some recipes with the contents of their American Candy Subscription Boxes, of course I jumped at the chance. I love developing recipes, especially where American Candy is involved, or any candy for that matter. I made two recipes with their “Classic Box” over the weekend. These M&M Peanut Butter Cookies and some American Candy Cupcakes which will be featured on Taffy Mail’s Blog later this week. Make sure you look out for those.

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

Makes 10 cookies

170g butter

200g caster sugar

100g light brown muscavado sugar

1 large egg

330g self-raising flour

2tbsp peanut butter

Filling of your choice. I used Peanut Butter M&Ms and a Peanut Butter Snickers cut into small squares

Method:

Preparation: 10 minutes | Baking: 12 minutes

1. Preheat oven to 200c (180c fan) and line 2-3 baking trays with baking paper.

2. Mix together the butter, sugar and peanut butter until light and creamy. Add the egg and mix again.

3. Gradually add the flour, making sure your mixture doesn’t get to dry.

4. Add your “filling” and stir again gently to ensure it’s evenly distributed throughout the cookie dough.

5. Roll the dough into 10 balls and place on the baking trays, pressing down slightly. Leave plenty of room for the cookies to spread. Place in the oven for 12 minutes.

6. Leave to cool. They will continue to harden in this process.

Enjoy…

I’d love to see your photos if you have a go at making these M&M Peanut Butter Cookies. Have you tried making your own Viennese Whirls yet?

Until next time,

Ami Rose Blog Bristol Blogger Signature

Be sure to follow me on social media to keep up to date with my latest posts!
You can find all of my social media links in the sidebar. I am @AmiRoseBlog on everything.
This post contains gifted items. Please see my disclaimer for more information.