Homemade Crunchy Granola

DSC_4010Homemade Crunchy Granola can either be devoured at breakfast or whenever the mood takes you, no set rules. I think it is like a trail mix too, so would work well when travelling/hiking as a snack. It is sweet, crunchy and when you are rooting around the press for a treat, this will help. This recipe is gluten-free, grain free and low in fructose.

 

I eat it with applesauce and a tablespoon of peanut butter; you can use any nut butter. I bake 6-8 pink ladies then pop them in the food processor (with skins – good fibre source), blitz them. Add (1 tbsp.) cinnamon to enhance the flavour. Store the applesauce / butter in a glass airtight container in the fridge. You can add it to granola, pancakes, smoothies or cakes. Whatever tickles your fancy.

 

Wondering what is inside this delicious, health creation? Buckwheat groats, desiccated coconut, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, poppy seeds (add any seeds), rice syrup and coconut oil. At the end I added roasted coconut chips, raw cacao nibs and goji berries. Other delights that would complement this flavoursome recipe are chia seeds, flaxseed, berries, vanilla powder, baobab powder, mesquite powder or a little sprinkle of coconut sugar. Get creative and nourish your body.

 

Health benefits include:

  • Desiccated Coconut – good source of fibre, medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) which help boost energy and potential to help towards weight loss ( be sure to follow a well-balanced eating regime).
  • Buckwheat Groats (gluten-free) – is a fruit seed related to rhubarb it contains vitamin B3, B6, B5, Manganese and Magnesium. Further reading click Buckwheat.
  • Pumpkin Seeds – Vitamin K, Manganese, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Omega 3 & 6.
  • Cinnamon – makes insulin more effective which will keep energy levels and sugar cravings balanced.
  • Poppy Seeds – Iron, Phosphorus, Fibre and Linoleic Acid.
  • Coconut Oil – medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) these are medium in length and are metabolized differently in the body. They increase energy expenditure and the Lauric Acid present will help fight off bacteria or infections. I eat a teaspoon in the morning times off the spoon and works great as a moisturiser on your lips or hair treatment.

Ingredients

2 cups Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)

1.5 cups Buckwheat Groats

½ cup Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

1 tbsp. Poppy Seeds or any seeds you like

¼ cup Rice Syrup/Coconut Sugar/Honey

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Coconut Oil

Method

  • In a large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients. Next, melt down the rice syrup and coconut oil together. I popped them in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water to melt.
  • Once melted, give it a little stir and pour over the mixture, stir quickly. Place the mixture on flat lined baking tray, place in oven 150 degrees 40 – 45 minutes until golden brown and crunchy. Keep an eye on the granola and give it a little stir occasionally. Allow to cool, store in an airtight container

Be sure to keep me posted if you try any recipe by posting on instagram: @makeandbakefromscratch or  twitter:@WhelehanLynne

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

 

Sweet Treats

50_Angie Snyman

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art”, (Francois De La Rochefaucauld)

This is a feature I wrote for Fitness magazine for September-October 2013 called “Sweet Treats”, these delicious, healthy recipes will keep you looking good and feeling vibrant. Click Sweet Treats to view the article.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram: @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Refuel, Replenish & Rehydrate

You have just finished an awesome, sweaty, pumping workout. Now you must decide what to eat and refuel your muscles.  There is no set rule for how I eat meals I tend to mix and match what is in the fridge and what suits my needs at that time. My plate can look like a pick ‘n’ mix bag. Load your plate up with veggies, make it look like a kaleidoscope of colours. This post contains three post workout recipes to help you stay on track to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Here is an piece wrote  about Nutrition “15 Myths You Want to Know”. Jeremy Loenneke (PhD student in Exercise Physiology at the University of Oklahoma) dispels the myth about nutrition after working out. Read more nutrition myths here: 15 Myths You Want to Know

The biggest nutrition myth in my mind is the idea that a person must consume protein within 30 minutes of exercise to see muscular adaptation from that exercise bout. 

Although this is known as “fact” in many circles, the scientific basis for such a claim has little data to support it.  In fact, the idea that all muscular gains are lost 30 minutes after completing an exercise bout unless food is eaten doesn’t seem to make sense from any biological perspective. 

Esmarck et al. 2001 is the most commonly used citation to support this “window of opportunity”.  That study took older untrained men (74 years) and had them resistance train for 12 weeks.  One group had 10g of protein immediately post and the other group had 10g of protein 2 hours later.  The group that had protein immediately post exercise saw increases in muscle size, however, the other group saw no change in muscle mass.  The fact that one group exercises for 12 weeks and saw no increase in muscle mass whatsoever should be a red flag because resistance exercise has been shown to increase muscle mass in numerous studies (elderly included) not giving protein immediately post exercise. 

Recently, a well-controlled study by Erskine et al. 2012 presented data in untrained healthy men (23 years) who worked out for 12 weeks.  One group consumed 20g of whey protein immediately post exercise and the other group consumed a placebo.  In addition, participants were instructed to consume only water in the 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after each training session.  What they found was that the muscle size and strength gains following exercise were identical between groups.  This means that consuming protein immediately post exercise did not offer any additional benefit.

The point I am trying to make is that there is nothing magical about placing all of one’s focus onto one meal during the day. There is nothing wrong with consuming protein immediately post workout, however, it is important to understand that it will not hurt ones muscle gains if they wait until they get home or even later to eat a meal. The focus should not be on one meal, it should be on all meals.  A person should focus on consuming adequate protein, carbohydrate, and fat at each one of their meals.  Specifically, one should focus on maximizing their muscle protein synthetic response about every 4 hours and recent data suggests that distributing protein evenly throughout those meals is beneficial.  I would then place their training between anyone of those meals.

For example, if a person’s eating schedule was

Meal 1: 8am

Meal 2: 12pm

Meal 3: 4pm

Meal 4: 8pm

I would recommend that they work out anytime between Meal 1 and Meal 4.  This strategy focuses on hitting sufficient macronutrients at all meals not just one meal.

In conclusion, there doesn’t appear to be anything magical about consuming protein immediately post exercise for improving muscle size and strength. However, although the data doesn’t support this “window of opportunity” it will undoubtedly stick around as “fact” by those who wish to believe it to be true in the face of evidence directly to the contrary.  Remember that all meals are important, not just the post-workout.

References:

Esmarck et al. “Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans.”  Journal of Physiology (2001), 535.1, 301-311.

Erskine et al. “Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2012), 44(9), 1791-1800.

Oven Baked Salmon with a Rainbow Salad

DSC_3600“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise”, Gene Tunney.

Ingredients

1 Salmon Fillet

Lettuce, any kind, roughly chopped

½ Pepper, yellow or red

4-5 Cherries

Handful Blueberries

Cucumber, thin slices

Flaked Almonds, toasted

Salad Dressing

3-4 tablespoons Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Syrup/Honey

1/2 Orange, juice only

1 Orange Slice

Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
  • Lin foil with coconut oil, place salmon on top and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked thoroughly.
  • Cut yellow/red pepper into chunks and place under a medium heat grill. Allow to soften and brown. Cut into strips for the salad. Next, place 1 tbsp. flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast until lightly brown, set aside until ready to serve.
  • Wash and chop all salad ingredients and place pop onto your serving plate.
  • Salad Dressing: Pop all ingredients except orange slice in a bowl and whisk until rice syrup is dissolved and emulsified. Add orange slice at the end. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and serve with meal.  Spoon it over your salad. Store any leftover dressing in a glass jar in the fridge.
  • Once everything is ready , plate up and nourish your body.

Protein Punch: Pumpkin & Cacao Smoothie

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This post workout Smoothie is great to help way to replenish your muscles. It contains pumpkin, banana, coconut water, raw cacao and cinnamon. To boost the protein content you could add a scoop of whey isolate protein (chocolate or vanilla flavour) or one raw egg. A brand I am fond of in South Africa is Absolute Organix they sell a whey isolate or a raw vegan protein powder. If sourcing pumpkin is difficult use sweet potato puree as an alternative.  Sweet Potato puree is made the same way as pumpkin puree. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It works really nice in coconut flour pancakes too.

Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, potassium and copper. Adding a banana to a post workout Smoothie will help energize your body, it is packed with potassium an electrolyte. Electrolyte restoration is paramount after a workout. Coconut water adds a nice sweet flavour and is a low fructose drink, full of electrolytes to rehydrate the body. The cacao powder will give the Smoothie a chocolate flavour and is a powerhouse of antioxidants.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Pumpkin Puree (visit how to make Pumpkin Puree)

½ Banana

1 cup Coconut Water

1-2 teaspoon Raw Cacao Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon

*optional: 1 scoop Whey Isolate Protein or Raw Vegan Protein Powder

Method

  • Pop in blender, blitz until smooth consistency. Pour in a glass and add some ice.

Basil Omelette with Grilled Tomatoes, Goats Cheese & Homemade Pesto 

Eggs are a great addition to your fridge. They are very versatile and can used in sweet and savoury dishes.

basil omlette

Basil Omelette

2 Free Range Eggs

Handful Fresh Basil Leaves

Pinch Pink Rock Salt

Black Pepper

Sprinkle Goats Cheese on top, can be omitted

Grilled Cherry Tomatoes

Coriander & Basil Pesto

Large handful Coriander

Large handful Basil

1 Garlic Clove

1 small Chilli, de-seeded

1 tsp. Cumin Seeds or Powder

1 tablespoon Unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar ( I use Braggs or Biona)

1/2 cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to season

Method:

  • Basil Omelette: Pop eggs, basil and seasoning into a food processor/blender and blitz until combined. On a medium heat pan, melt ½ tsp. coconut oil and pour omelette mixture into the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the egg is set and firm, toss some goats cheese on top. Place under a medium heat grill and lightly brown the top of the omelette.
  • Grilled Tomatoes: Line an oven dish with tin foil and pop in a handful of cherry tomatoes. Place under the grill at medium temperature and grill tomatoes until they blister. I like to brown the skin. I love the taste. I usually store any leftover tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge and use them in salads.
  • Coriander & Basil Pesto: Chop chilli and peel garlic. Pop all ingredients into food processor and blitz until combined. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge until ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge for a week and you can add it to salads, chicken, beef or your favourite fish. I like to mix it into my cauliflower mash for extra flavour.

WIth these recipes you will be on the right path to fighting fit and keeping your body nourished. Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram: @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Raw Banoffi

DSC_3521Raw Banoffi is a guilt free treat. The recipe is gluten-free, grain free and if you follow a dairy free eating regime just omit the greek yogurt and use coconut cream. Eat it as a weekly treat. Raw Banoffi is so easy to throw together and is abundant with health properties to help you in your quest to super eating. Benefits include:

  • Bananas: packed with vitamin B6, C, potassium, manganese. Bananas are a prebiotic source and this will help probiotics thrive and is helpful for vitamin B absorption. So, hello “Happy Gut”. I topped the sweet treat with greek yogurt which also contains beneficial probiotics to help with digestion.
  • Cinnamon: makes insulin more effective and will help with energy levels.
  • Ground Almonds: packed with vitamin E, B2, K, manganese, magnesium, omega 6, carotenoids, bioflavonoids and phytosterols.
  • Coconut oil: strengthens immune system, increases metabolism (aids in weight loss), improves digestion, boosts key mineral absorption (calcium and magnesium), antifungal and antibacterial properties, provides long-lasting energy and is great for skin and hair.

I used glass jars to serve individual portions but ramekins will work perfectly or you could use a small cheesecake tin. Use what is available. Also when layering the mixture in the jars I added raw cacao nibs and toasted flaked almonds.

What you will need to execute this dish:

Base:

2/3 cup Ground Almonds

2/3 cup Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened version)

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1 tbsp. Organic Rice Syrup or Honey, melted

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon

Banana Toffee Mix:

3 Banana’s

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon Powder

The Method:

  • Base: In a large mixing bowl add ground almonds, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, rice syrup, vanilla powder and cinnamon, combine the mixture.
  • Banana Toffee Mixture: In a food processor add the banana’s, dates (pitted), vanilla powder and cinnamon, blitz until combined and smooth.
  • Layering: In the glass jars (this recipe makes 2) I layered the mixture. First I added the base mixture then banana toffee mixture on top followed by a layer of raw cacao nibs and toasted flaked almond, another base mixture layer, banana toffee mixture. To finish it off I added glenisk greek yogurt, sprinkled raw cacao powder and nibs on top.
  • Allow to set in the fridge for about 1 hour.

DSC_3522Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Savoury Pancakes with Spicy Tomato Chicken & Guacamole

DSC_3515I made this savoury pancake with a sandwich and a chicken fajita on my mind. I came up with a gluten-free, high protein, good carbohydrates version all made in the comfort of my own very small kitchen. If you like sandwiches and chicken fajita then you will love this. Sure, it is no Ploughman’s sandwich but who cares it’s a better version oozing with flavours of chilli, lime and avocado. Eat this delicious creation for lunch, dinner or tea. Become your own health chef and turn your kitchen into a creative cooking hub. I found spare tiles on the balcony; I washed two and made plates out of them. Be inspired.

Pancake mix:

(serves one person, double the mixture if you have guests)

2 Free Range Eggs (1 egg yolk)

1 tbsp. Full Fat Smooth Cottage Cheese

2 tbsp. Gluten Free Oats

¼ tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Mixed Herbs

Season with pink salt and black pepper

Spicy Tomato Chicken 

4-5 Organic Chicken Fillets, rough chopped (save some chicken for lunch the following day)

½ Garlic Clove, grated

1 Red Pepper, chopped

4-5 Spring Onions, roughly chopped

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp. Cumin Powder

½ tsp. Chilli Flakes

3 tbsp. Organic Tomato Paste

Pink Salt & Black Peppercorns to season

(* squeeze some lime juice over the chicken at the end of cooking)

Homemade Guacamole

1 Medium Ripe Avocado

Squeeze ½ Lime, juice only

Pink Salt

Put it all together:

  • Savoury Pancakes: pop all ingredients in a food processor blitz until combined. Use a small pan (I used 16cm). Melt ½ tsp. coconut on medium heat, pour half the pancake mixture on, cook on each side for 4 minutes (should be light brown), pour the next half of the pancake mixture. This will make a top and bottom sandwich effect.
  • Spicy Tomato Chicken: Melt 1 tsp. coconut oil on a large pan medium heat, add spices and chicken. Next add chopped red pepper, spring onion and tomato paste. Ensure chicken is cooked in the middle (no pink bits) before serving. Squeeze lime juice over the chicken and remove from heat.
  • Homemade Guacamole: Scoop avocado pulp, lime juice and pink salt into a food processor and blitz until combined.
  • Plate it up as you would a sandwich. I added rocket, dolloped crème fraiche (1 tsp.) on top and chilli flakes.

DSC_3508Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Chocolate & Pumpkin Cake

beetroot and ginger soup-2Love, Bake, Munch. This cake recipe is low in fructose (if you use rice syrup, fructose is sugar), gluten-free and grain free. It had a rich chocolate taste which really satisfied my chocolate craving taste buds. I baked it on a Sunday as a weekly treat but it would make a great birthday cake for a loving family member or friend. Nourish your soul with real food.

Ingredients

½ cup Ground Almonds

½ cup Coconut Flour

½ cup Pumpkin Puree

¼ tsp. Baking Soda

½ cup Raw Cacao or Cocoa Powder

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder

3 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted

5 Free Range Eggs

½ cup Organic Rice Syrup or Honey or 5-6 Medjool Dates, roughly chopped

beetroot and ginger soupHow to make this cake

  • Make pumpkin puree, recipe here.
  • Preheat oven 180 degrees, bake for 22-25 minutes this will vary with oven temperatures.
  • In a food processor add ground almonds, coconut flour, pumpkin puree, baking soda and raw cacao powder, pulse.
  • Next add vanilla powder, cinnamon powder, coconut oil, eggs and your sweetener of desire (rice syrup), continue to pulse the mixture to a cake batter.
  • Pour mixture into a round sponge cake tin (ensure it is greased) and pop in the oven insert a toothpick in the middle of the cake after 22 minutes; if the toothpick comes out clean the cake is ready to be munched.
  • I added Full Fat Greek Yogurt on top, drizzled Rice Syrup and toasted Flaked Almonds.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Homemade Spicy Parsnip Wedges

DSC_3444I am an avid fan of sweet potato wedges/chips for lunch/dinner but parsnip wedges are a great alternative. You can also thinly slice the parsnip and roast a healthy crisp. I spiced things up a little bit and added curry powder and cayenne pepper. They tasted great with my homemade burgers.

Parsnips contain folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, bioflavonoids and carotenoids. Roast these beauties with coconut oil for maximum antioxidant absorption.

What you will need:

5-6 Parsnips (I used small ones, if you have any left overs pop them in your lunchbox for the following day)

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1-2 tbsp. Curry Powder

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pink Salt & Pepper

How to prepare

  • Preheat oven 180 degrees and line a flat baking tray with tin foil or greaseproof paper.
  • Wash, peel and chop parsnips into wedge like shapes. Pop them into a bowl and pour on coconut oil and spices. Ensure the parsnips are coated evenly.
  • Roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until they are crispy.

DSC_3440Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

5 Super Food Soups

Cover Dianne_small

Here is the latest feature “Super-Food Soups”, I wrote for Fitness Magazine. It contains five healthy soup recipes to keep you warm during the winter months. Click here to view recipes: Super Food Soups

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Coconut & Cacao Bliss Balls

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“To be happy-one must find one’s bliss”, Gloria Vanderbilt

These little beauties are a real treat, hard not to eat the whole batch! They are made from desiccated coconut, cacao powder, medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla powder, chia seeds, coconut oil and water. Of course you can sprinkle your own twist on them. They are gluten-free, dairy free, grain free and egg free. So if you have a sweet tooth get happy in the kitchen and make Coconut & Cacao Bliss Balls.

Ingredients

1 cup Almonds & Pumpkin Seeds (preferably activated)

4-5 Medjool Dates, pitted and roughly chopped

¼ cup Raw Cacao Powder or Cocoa Powder

½ cup Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

Pinch Cinnamon Powder

1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

3-4 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

Method

  • Remove seeds from dates and roughly chop.
  • In a food processor add nuts, dates, cacao powder, desiccated coconut, cinnamon, vanilla powder, chia seeds and coconut oil. Blitz until all ingredients are combined. It should have a paste like consistency. If it appears to look dry add a small drop of filtered water until the mixture sticks together.
  • Break off bite size pieces and roll them into firm balls with your hands. Roll the balls in desiccated coconut, place them on a plate and pop to the fridge to chill.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Eat Real, Great Feel x

100% Grass Fed Burgers with a Flat Mushroom Bun

DSC_3414Last week I discovered the Organic Emporium. The Organic Emporium is run by Debbie Logan and it sells organic, grass-fed produce online. You place your order and simply have it delivered or you can pick it up. I picked up 100% Kalahari  Grass Fed  sirloin steaks, mince, stock bones and Mooberry Farm Grass Fed butter, Free Range eggs and milk. Needless to say I will be going back for more!

After a roaring kettlebell session on Saturday I came home and made 100% Kalahari Grass Fed Burgers with the mince. Since I do not eat gluten I like to get creative, so I used large flat mushrooms for the buns. On the burger I added homemade tomato sauce, homemade basil pesto, roasted red pepper, rocket and goats cheese. What better way to replenish your body after working out? Of course, you could gobble these up at any stage of the day. Sweet potato wedges roasted with coconut oil and spices make a delicious side dish. This recipe is gluten-free, high protein, good fats and oozing flavour.

Ingredients

(Made 4 chunky burgers)

Burgers

500 grams  100 % Grass Fed Mince

1 Free Range Egg

1 tablespoon Ground Almonds

1 teaspoon Ground Cumin

Sprinkle Chilli Flakes (can be omitted)

Salt & Pepper to season

Mushroom Buns

8 Large Flat Mushrooms

Toppings

1 teaspoon Homemade Basil Pesto

Handful Rocket

Roasted Red Pepper

1 teaspoon per burger of Goats Cheese

Homemade Tomato Sauce

1 tube Tomato Paste

200 grams Chopped Tomatoes

2 tablespoons Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Raw Honey, melted

1 teaspoon Dried Mixed Herbs

1 teaspoons Cumin

Salt & Pepper to season

Method

  • For the burgers: In a large bowl mix all the ingredients. Roll the mixture into beef pattie shapes. In the pan melt 1 teaspoon coconut oil/ghee and cook patties 8-10 minutes on each side (this will vary with individual taste).
  • Mushroom Buns: Heat grill, add ½ teaspoon of butter and black pepper to each mushroom, grill for 20-25 minutes and ensure each mushroom is cooked right through.
  • Roasted Red Pepper: Preheat oven at 180 degrees. Chop and de-seed red pepper, place on a flat lined baking tray and add 1 teaspoon coconut oil, roast for 25 minutes until the pepper is nice and soft.
  • Homemade Basil Pesto recipe is here
  • Homemade Tomato Sauce:  In a mixing bowl add all ingredients; remember to melt the honey it will mix better. Combine all ingredients and pop in a glass jar, store in the fridge.
  • Once everything is ready to devour plate up and enjoy a wholesome home cooked meal.

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Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Eat Real, Great Feel x