I’m excited to be able to introduce another guest recipe creator to The Flourishing Pantry this week, in the form of lawyer turned Nutritional Therapist Katie Shore.
Katie qualified as a barrister and worked within criminal justice for over ten years before deciding to retrain as Nutritional Therapist. She currently works in government leading on school food policy, working to improve the quality of school food across the country whilst studying for her nutritional therapy qualification at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition.
As I’m not a peanut lover I’m delighted Katie is sharing with us something for you peanut fans out there!
But first, a little about Katie and her approach to wellness…
Tell us more about yourself and your background
Before deciding to embark on a career change into Nutritional Therapy I qualified as a barrister, being called to the Bar in 2009, and spent 10 years working within the criminal justice sector.
I currently have a ‘big job’ in school food policy, working to improve the quality of school food across the country, whilst studying for my Nutritional Therapy qualification at the Institute for Optimum Nutrition. I’m half way through already and can’t believe how quickly it’s going - which I’m taking as a good sign, right?
What prompted you to start a blog?
I had been reading blogs for a while - on everything from food to fitness, feminism to makeup - and something about it really caught my attention and made me think ‘I could do that!’
I loved how passionate the blog authors were and having been told how enthusiastic I come across ‘in real life’ by various people I knew that I wanted my own corner of the internet I could share my love for all things food and wellbeing.
Why do you think healthy living is important?
I am super passionate about healthy living and think it’s so important because I believe that everyone has the right (and can, with the right knowledge and support) find ways to optimise their health whatever their budget. As much as I love that health and wellbeing has become more mainstream in recent years I think that the concept of healthy living can have a tendency towards elitism which some people write off as ‘not for me’.
I hope that through my blog and Instagram I can show that healthy living doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive because healthy living underpins our overall health - by living well we give ourselves the best chance of feeling well.
Any advice for those starting on their health journey?
Take it slowly. If you try to do a radical overhaul of everything straight away you’re more likely to feel miserable and give up when the going gets tough. I love the ‘add in’ principle - try adding in one healthy food and habit to your weekly routine and build up from there before you start taking things away.
For example, substitute one sugary snack a day with a healthy one like an apple and almond butter. By crowding out the more unhealthy food with a nutritious (and delicious) option you won’t feel deprived and in a few weeks you won’t even miss the old snack.
How do you balance work and staying healthy?
By being prepared as much as I can (batch cooking at weekends, cooking once but eating twice by taking leftovers in to work the next day and meal planning as much as possible) but also by not beating myself up when I don’t have the time to do all of these things.
I’ll try to choose the best options available to me in the supermarket or when I’m eating out but if I have the odd takeaway or burger then it’s ok. I’m aiming for moderation not deprivation.
What is your favourite recipe from your blog?
Its hands down the easiest one on the blog but banana nice-cream wins almost every time. I love ice cream whatever the weather and the fact that you can make some amazing soft serve from simply freezing some bananas and whizzing them up in a food processor - either alone or with nut butter, coconut or cacao powder still impresses me to this day. I think I eat it most weeks.
What is your favourite recipe from The Flourishing Pantry?
It’s the black bean breakfast burritos. I love a savoury breakfast and anything that packs a load of veggies into the first meal of the day is always going to be a winner in my books.
Peanut butter banana granola
I love a good bowl of granola for a quick and easy weekday breakfast (or anytime of day) but find the shop bought ones often have large quantities of sugars and refined seed oils in them. Enter this super easy, stir together recipe which is full of good fats, omega 3 and no refined sugars in sight.
It has become my go-to recipe and even has my fussy family’s seal of approval because although it is packed full of nutritious things, it certainly doesn’t taste like it.
SERVES: Makes enough for a 1litre mason jar (approx.)
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 20 minutes
I large banana, mashed well
1/4 cup peanut butter (either chunky or smooth works)
1/4 cup light olive oil (or coconut oil)
2 tbsp brown rice syrup or maple syrup (brown rice syrup is less sweet)
1/2 cup oats (gluten free if required)
1 cup mixed nuts (almonds, pecansand walnuts work well)
1/2 cup buckwheat groats
1/2 unsweetened desiccated coconut
1/2 cup mixed seeds (or a combination of pumpkin and sunflower)
3 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla essence (or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla concentrate)
Pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC fan oven) and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper or reusable baking parchment.
In a small bowl mash the banana to a sticky pulp and set aside. In a separate larger mixing bowl add all the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, buckwheat, coconut and seeds) and stir well to ensure everything is thoroughly combined.
In a small saucepan add the oil, banana, peanut butter, syrup and vanilla and heat very gently until everything is melted together; you may need to whisk the mixture slightly to help this along. Heating the liquids helps to relax the the nut butter which will make everything combine better. Be careful not to overheat the pan otherwise the mixture will have the opposite effect and become less pliable. Aim for a gentle heat to encourage everything to melt together, nothing too fierce.
Once you’re satisfied that the liquid mixture has combined enough add this the bowl of dry ingredients. Also add the cinnamon and salt before mixing well to ensure all of the dry ingredients are evenly coated. At this stage the granola mixture will look clumpy and like flapjack mixture, this is normal and it is what will provide the extra tasty big clusters when cooked.
Scoop out the granola on to the baking tray and roughly squash down with the back of a spoon. Try to leave some patches uneven as this is what will give the granola a chunky texture.
Pop in the oven and cook for 10 minutes before taking out to check it is cooking evenly and giving it a little stir. When turning the mixture some of the granola will start to break up, this is fine but try to be gentle to keep some of the clusters together. If you break the granola up too much it will still taste great but the texture will be finer, like muesli. Place the tray back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until the granola is browned all over but not burnt.
Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Some of the larger clusters may still seem a little undercooked but this is normal, they will harder as the granola cools. When the mixture is completely cold store in an airtight container to prevent it going soggy and use within two weeks - although if you’re anything like me, you may struggle to make this last a week.
Serve with milk or yoghurt of your choice and top with more peanut butter if that takes your fancy.
N.B Once the granola is cooled you can jazz it up by stirring through 1/2 cup of dried banana chips and/ or 1/2 cup cacao nibs for a chocolate banana vibe. Or leave it as is, both are delicious options.
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