Banana Cupcakes (Dairy & refined sugar free)

Hello everyone!

A more cheerful post to end your Sunday with after my last two have been incredibly heavy and depressing. I’ve had to radically overhaul my diet recently so I’ve had to get creative in the kitchen if I want to eat anything remotely tasty. I had lots of overripe bananas to use up so I thought what better way to use them than to make some banana cupcakes. They’re basically mini banana breads- with no dairy or refined sugar in them they’re little cases of goodness (bar the icing but theres barely any of it and its made primarily with honey) that I guess you could maybe even eat for breakfast with some berries and natural yoghurt (Soya for me with lactose intolerance) or just with a cup of tea in the afternoon. Anyway, here is the recipe!

Ingredients for the cupcakes:

100g Buckwheat Flour

100g Wholewheat Flour

2 egg whites

4 mashed ripe bananas

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1tsp baking powder

2tsp Cinnamon (to taste, I’d have a bucketful if I could)

4 tbsp apple sauce (shop bought or homemade. For this I usually peel and dice a medium sized cooking apple and place in a small pan with just enough water to cover the bottom of the pan with a bit of honey. Then allow the apple to cook until soft, then mash the apple to make apple sauce!)

Ingredients for the icing:

25g Icing Sugar

2tsp clear honey

1tbsp cold water

Optional: Nuts or dried fruit for decoration

Lets get baking!

  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees (160 degrees for fan ovens) and line a baking tray with around 12 muffin/cupcake cases
  2. If you’re going to make the apple sauce, then do it at this point. This way it can cool in time to add to your mixture.
  3. Place both flours, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cinnamon in a bowl and mix
  4. In a separate bowl mash up the bananas, don’t worry about them being completely smooth
  5. Add the bananas, egg whites and apple sauce to the dry mixture and mix well
  6. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and place in the oven for around 20-25 minutes
  7. When the cupcakes spring back to the touch or a knife comes out clean then they’re ready to come out! The flours are both naturally darker than traditional white flour so don’t be too concerned if they look a bit dark.
  8. Once the cupcakes have cooled mix your icing ingredients together and drizzle over the top!
  9. Try not to eat them all in one sitting like my family did….(no chance to get a photo)

They’re super easy and really tasty so let me know what you think!

Eating well, staying healthy and keeping fit at University

As we all know those Dominos and Pizza Hut deals are very tempting, and I have been known to indulge in a Two for Tuesday deal when I’ve had a very long start to the week, but you have to remember that its important to look after yourself and your diet, especially now you have to cook for yourself and you’re responsible for your own food shop! Its a learning curve for a lot of people as they begin to realise that something has to change but its a choice you have to make and keep to, don’t yoyo!

My tips for being healthy food wise at Uni are:

  1. Plan your food shop before you go, there is nothing worse than going to the shops hungry and picking up a bumper pack of biscuits just to satisfy your craving
  2. Make healthy alternative swaps, for example I’ve swapped cows milk for almond milk (you’ll find it in the usual milk aisle) not only is it better for you, its also a lot lower in calories and tastes like macaroons, yummy! Other alternatives include swapping white bread for wholemeal and normal potatoes for sweet potatoes (BEST THING YOU’LL EVER DO).
  3. Snack attack- Just because you’re bored, working or laying in bed doesn’t mean you should consume a giant bag of Doritos in the process, make sure your snacks are healthy such as rice cakes (the Kallo ones are amazing), dried and fresh fruit, popcorn- the healthy kind at 76 calories a bag not the stuff covered in caramel, nuts- in moderation, they can be pretty high in calories, as long as its not full of sugar and processed beyond recognition you’ll be fine….yes put down that Krispy Kreme
  4. DO NOT BUY READY MEALS- Make your own version, its cheaper in the long run and much healthier!
  5. Breakfast- I have only just realised that my parents may have been right about it being an important meal of the day. Personally, I don’t eat lunch simply because I don’t get hungry (lecture me about it later okay) but breakfast is such an important meal that you cannot afford to miss it, I don’t think I’d survive a gym session or a lecture without it anymore. I adore porridge for breakfast with banana, and for a big bowl that fills me up until about 5pm it comes in at around 200 calories yippee!
  6. Don’t go to the extreme- remember you can treat yourself, just don’t do it all the time! I like to let myself have a nice breakfast on a Sunday or a pizza on Fridays as a treat when I’ve been healthy for the rest of the week. If you restrict yourself too much you’ll find eventually you’ll get a craving and end up surrounded by 6 packets of quavers and a tummy ache.

Being Active at Uni: f306859f047975d188ba80a0c13417ae

There are endless lists of sports events, classes and societies at University which means there is absolutely no excuse not to get out there and its sociable!

  1. Make time for exercise- Its fair enough working hard and keeping up with deadlines but when you’re laying in bed until 12pm, there is no reason why you can’t get up a couple of hours earlier to go for a run or go to the gym
  2. Even without a gym membership you can keep in shape, in my Fresher year I did a workout DVD in my room most evenings, it gave me something to do and kept me in shape when I didn’t feel confident enough to go to the gym
  3. Walk to where you need to be- theres always the temptation to take the car or get the bus to University when you live off campus but you’ll really notice that extra difference if you take the time to walk instead, plus think of all the money you’ll save if you don’t buy the bus pass!!! (Thats at least 4 ASOS orders right…?) 

Thought I’d attach some of my favourite recipes that I like to use when I’m at Uni- they’re cheap to make, easy to follow and good for you! When it doubt though, http://studentrecipes.com are always an interesting read! (Wow I sound old…)

https://detoxkitchen.co.uk/recipes/grilled-chicken-with-courgetti-and-pesto– You can obviously buy the pesto rather than making it and I like to substitute the chicken for Quorn occasionally which makes it a really cheap and lovely dinner!

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2491643/cheapaschips-veggie-pizza– I learned this trick from my housemate, obviously freestyle as you wish with the toppings but using pitta breads (I use wholemeal) or tortillas as an alternative mini-pizza base makes for a slightly healthier cheat meal!

http://detoxinista.com/2015/01/2-ingredient-toddler-pancakes/– Okay so you’re going to be like nah I can’t have pancakes for breakfast and it actually be good for me??? Well heres the excellent news, one ripe banana and two eggs later you’ve got yourself a delicious batch of pancakes that are good for you and free from flour and butter- obviously depending on how healthy you’re feeling with the toppings (I don’t think I’d drown mine in syrup like she has) but they’re amazing, trust me!

I’d love to hear if you’ve got any great recipes for when I’m at uni, I swear I eat the same thing every week so I’d love some suggestions!

Hope you’ve all had a lovely week and been busy, enjoy the weekend!

x