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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

a banana bread disaster

a banana bread disaster

I was off work yesterday so had planned a productive day at home.  I was going to get up, do a bit of work on my blog - writing some content and editing photos, head to the gym for a boxfit class, then spend the afternoon baking, with camera in hand, so I could proudly show off said baking over on this little spot.

All was going well, content had been written, boxfit class had nearly killed me, my banana bread was in the oven, and I cleaned the kitchen while I waited for it to cook.

I was using a recipe I'd successfully made before, a Madeleine Shaw banana and chocolate cake, wheat free and refined sugar free and somehow still delicious.  I was just going to alter the quantities slightly to make it a smaller loaf, rather than a full sized cake.  I'd taken snaps along the way, and I was all set to take the final few photos ready to post on here.

Only that didn't go slight to plan, the top of my banana bread was starting to burn, but it was still under-baked and wobbling like jelly in the middle, so I popped some tin foil on the top and waiting a further 20 minutes after the supposed cooking time.
a banana bread disaster
I eventually got sick of waiting and with the edges now almost burnt to a crisp, I figured it had to come out the oven soon.  So I took it out, left to cool on the side for a while, and started typing up the recipe, feeling rather smug and assuming all you lovely readers would be rushing to make it.
I ran a knife around the edge and turned it upside down...nothing.  I ran a knife around the edge again, and gave it a little tap, still nothing.  I got a bigger knife, did the same thing again, then got a fish slice and tried to slide it slightly under the cake to loosen it.  Turned it upside down, gave it another tap, and I felt it release with a sigh of relief.  I lifted up the tin, and half of it was still in there, the rest had collapsed.  It wasn't cooked and it was too raw to hold it's shape.

But it smelt really good, and I'd used a lot of fairly expensive ingredients in it (as baking ingredients go), including coconut sugar, coconut flour and ground almonds so was determined not to be beaten. I scooped up the mush, plopped it back in the tin, and shoved it back in the oven...scooped, plopped and shoved what graceful terminology, particularly when referring to baking!

I waited another 15 minutes.  

By this point, the cake had been in the oven for a good 35 minutes longer than it was supposed to. 

So I took it out, extracted it from the tin as best I could, and had a taste.  Now, it looks a mess, and it's impossible to cut a slice of, but it still tastes pretty damn good.  So I'm going to keep my banana bread, and collapsed or not, I will enjoy it, just probably served with a scoop of ice cream to hide how it looks.
a banana bread disaster
And I figured I might as well turn it into a blog post, because it seems the more I attempt to be a blogger, the worse I get.  And if I can't make perfect cakes, and have beautiful photography, then I might as well try and make you smile.

I'm just disappointed because I'm usually pretty good at baking, it must be all the blog pressure.

Here's a picture of the last time I made this cake, just to rub salt in the wound, look how pretty, and instagrammable, and blog-worthy it was!!

madeleine shaw banana and chocolate cake

Friday, 23 September 2016

shakes, proats and pancakes - trying to up my protein

Protein Porridge

If you read last week's post, you'll know I'm struggling a little bit with this whole 'fitness blogger' thing, while I want to be one of those girls with abs to die for, perfect shots of matcha latte's and acai bowls, and post 'leg day' doms, it's just not quite me.  I'm working on my abs, but they're a long way from enviable, I've never had a matcha latte and I have no idea what an acai bowl is, and I don't really know what 'doms' means, let alone suffered after 'leg day'.

I just play by my own rules, I workout regularly, but at classes rather than gym sessions, I eat a 'balanced' diet (check out my last post if you fancy knowing more about that) and I still don't understand macros.  

However, what I do know is, protein is vital to building muscle, and helps you lose weight.  So, with a little help from The Body Coach (I swear by his recipes) and a vat of protein powder to keep me going for a year, I'm trying to up my intake.

IdealFit sent me a load of goodies to help with my quest, and their products are specifically designed for women so ensure as well as packing a good protein punch they're also full of other nutrients that women need such as Vitamin D, Folic Acid and Calcium.  Now you can't complain about that.

IdealFit Products

One thing I've always been a bit nervous about when upping my protein intake is the increase in calories, before I ever started working out, I just assumed if I ate a lot of protein and didn't burn enough calories then I'd quickly put on weight.  Admittedly, that's not completely untrue, but to be honest I'm not a nutritionist (I know, it's hard to believe with my scientific explanation of these things!) and don't really know the ins and outs of it all, but I think I'm working out enough to not worry about it.  But, IdealFit know this is a concern for many women so have ensured they're protein is low calorie as well as all the other benefits, they've thought of it all.

Anyway, I was pretty excited about my new fancy flavours - strawberries n' cream and pina colada, my previous dips into the world of protein have got as exciting as chocolate mint and cookie dough, so I expanded my repertoire and got out my apron to start whipping up some protein-based concoctions.

I started simple with smoothies, both of which were really good, in fact better than my usual banana and nutella (ssh, don't tell anyone) combos.  The strawberries n' cream one tasted just like a frothy milkshake, and the pina colada one tasted almost like the real deal, just missing that hit of rum, but maybe I could try that for my Saturday night post workout shakes?

Pina Colada Protein Shake
Strawberries n Cream Protein Shake

I then moved onto porridge oats, topped with real strawberries and coconut, and have plans to try both flavours in an overnight oats recipe soon.

And finally, I gave the famous protein pancakes a go, now, they weren't instagram worthy (but I instagrammed them anyway), I hid how disastrous they looked with greek yoghurt, and half of one was left burnt to the bottom of the pan BUT they were delicious, and I'm going to give them another go soon.

Protein Pancakes

I'm thinking about trying a protein mug cake, and I've heard you can even make protein mashed potato, but maybe pina colada flavoured potatoes aren't the best idea, so any suggestions on what else I can try?

Idealfit also sell a range of other products, including pre-workouts, BCAAS (although I have no idea what these are!) and even a few accessories if you fancy going the whole hog, so if you're looking for a new protein with a few added benefits then I'd highly recommend you check them out.

Protein Powder
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