Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes

Lemon Poppy Seed Cakes

Autumn Sundays are for baking! 👍🏻 This recipe was inspired from Derval O Rourke’s one in her book “Food for the Fast Lane”.

For the cakes:

185 ml milk

40 grams of poppy seeds

185 grams of unsalted butter

220 gram caster sugar

3 eggs

300 grams of self raising flour

1 lemon zest

For the lemon icing: 

300 grams icing sugar

Juice from 1 lemon

(All of the above can be bought at your local shop, I got mine in Tesco!)


Heat the milk and mix the poppy seeds into it and leave to mix for 15 minutes.

Whisk the softened butter and caster sugar together.

Add the eggs in one at a time and whisk until fluffy.

Add the flour, milk mixture and lemon zest.

Whisking all the time until the batter is thicken. This will take a few minutes.

Pour the mixture into baking tins (greased and lined with parchment paper)

*I divided it here and put into 2 smaller tins as I didn’t have one large one.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean on 150 degrees.

Set aside to cool while you make the lemon icing.

To make this, mix the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl until smooth.

Pour as required over the cakes.

*I had icing on one cake and left one without.

(Not bad for my first attempt)

Stay holistic


Coconut Chocolate Macaroons 

Coconut Chocolate Macaroons 

It’s been a while since I blogged about homemade snacks here and as its Autumn and we are spending more and more time in the house I thought I’d start it up again for the next few months.

First up is a recipe given to me during the week and so below is my take on the ‘Odlums Coconut Macaroons’.


1 tin Sweetened Condensed Milk

200g Desiccated Coconut

2 Egg Whites

Pinch of Salt

100 grams of cooking chocolate for top


1. Mix the condensed milk and coconut into a bowl.

2. Seperate the egg whites and beat with a pinch of salt and beat.

3. Fold the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

4. Spoon the mixture, slightly apart, on thea grease proof  prepared baking tin.

5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes (preheated to 180) or until just golden brown, making sure to watch them as they can burn easily.

6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes on a wire tray to cool.

7. Melt the chocolate and pour/drizzle over as desired.

8. Allow to set in the fridge.

9. Eat and enjoy!

Stay holistic

Catherine x 

Open Ready!

Open Ready!

Last week saw the start of the 5 week CrossFit Open and while I’m by no means an elite athlete I like to give it my all and so in this blog I’m sharing with you 1  little change I’m making in my diet to help my body recover that little bit better from these intense workouts.

What is this you might ask!?

Its simply adding  “Arrabawn Skim Plus Milk” into my morning smoothies and post work out protein shakes.

“Skim Plus milk is a fat free milk enriched with Iron, Folic Acid and vitamins C, D, E, B2 (Riboflavin) and B12. The skim milk product offers many of the healthy nutrients required for a healthy lifestyle.” (According to  Arrabawns website).

After saying that I’m not a huge fan of drinking milk on its own so I tend to add it to things to drink it.

This week, I added it to my morning smoothies:


-200 ml Arrabawn Skim Plus Milk

-One measurement of “Diamond Slim Lite” Protein,

-A handful of Spinach

-200 g  of Tesco Frozen Mixed Berries

-One Banana.


-25 secs Zap in the Nutri Bullet and its ready to drink. 🙂

Easy as that and with only 318 calories it keeps me full for the morning.

I also used the Milk in my post workout protein shake with some more “Diamond Slim Lite”. Its 168 calories and took away that need to eat some thing afterwards and keeps me at bay until dinner time.

Now I’m not here to explain to you the benefits of milk to our bones, muscles, joints but as a person who also has Arthritis and a replaced hip I’m even more aware of what my body needs and the  importance of having at least 3 daily servings of milk/milk products , Iron and these vitamins and so anything that can help with this daily requirement is always going to be given a thumbs up from me.

Ill definitely be keeping this new routine of mine up for the rest of the Open. Keep an eye on my social media – Facebook, Instagram for my process.

Stay holistic 🙂

P.s. Here are photos of me doing the 1st and 2nd ‘Open’ workouts and while I’m not saying that it was because of  the milk but I’m delighted that I’m managed to complete the 1st workout within the recommended time cap and completed more pull ups in the 2nd workout than ever before! 😜
Catherine  x

If you enjoyed this blog you might also enjoy my other blogs on Health Eating (click here) or CrossFit (click here).





Rich Raw Chocolate Mini Flapjacks

Rich Raw Chocolate Mini Flapjacks

As it was the weekend for treats I decided to try out a new chocolate flapjack recipe that I was given a few weeks back from a friend.

This is actually a take on Rosanna Davisons – Rich Raw Chocolate Flapjacks.



For the cake:

150g pitted and chopped dates

70g ground almonds

40g desiccated coconut

2 tbsp cacao powder

2 tbsp cacao nibs

1 tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla extract

For the chocolate topping:

220g cacao butter

90g raw cacao powder

80g maple syrup

For the cakes: 

  1. Chop the dates into smaller pieces and soak them in warm water for 15 -20 minutes. Drain well.
  2. Place the dates, the ground almonds, coconut, cacao powder, cacao nibs, maple syrup, cinnamon and vanilla extract into a food processor. (I used my Nutri ninja). Blend well until it’s mixed together.


  1. Put the mixture into a grease proof papered tin and flatten it with your fingers until it’s well packed into the tin.


For the topping:

  1. Melt the cacao butter over a medium heat. Add the cacao powder and whisk until there are no lumps.


2. Whisk the maple syrup into the mixture. 

3. Pour the chocolate sauce over the cake. 


4. Place in the fridge for 2-3 hours until the topping is set. 

5. Remove from the tin, cut into smaller pieces and store in air tight containers. 


These are great with a cup of coffee or tea for a snack or on the run before a work out in the gym. Keep in an air tight container and they will last days. 

Have a go and let me know how you get on. 

Stay holistic 🙂 

Catherine x 

Ps Have a look at some other recipes that I have here and contact me here if there are any that you would like me to try out. 

Coconut Macaroons

Coconut Macaroons

😜😜😜 Disclaimer! 😜😜😜

Not only is the following recipe totally and utterly 100% not good for you, it is highly addictive and you will want to eat them all!  (Just to warn you!)

But where’s the fun in healthy eating all the time and I am great believer that its ok to have some “unhealthy” snacks once in a while too. It’s all about the balance!

The following is a really easy recipe for Coconut Macaroons that my friend Emma shared with me years ago and because I made them for my work colleagues today (and they were gone in a flash!). I thought I would share the details with you here.


2 Egg Whites

170 grams of Desiccated Coconut

170 grams of Sugar

1 tsp of Vanilla Extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a large bowl until frothy.
  3. Stir in the Coconut.
  4. Stir in the Sugar.
  5. Stir in the Vanilla Extract.
  6. Mix all the ingredients into a sticky dough.
  7. Using your hands, roll the mixture into small round balls and place on some baking sheets and place in the oven.
  8. Cook for about 15-20 mins. or until the golden.
  9. Leave to cool for another 20 minutes and then peel off the baking tray.
  10. Eat and enjoy.


 Alternatively: Replace the coconut with finely ground Hazelnuts or Almonds for a different taste.

Have a go and let me know how you get on.

Stay holistic 🙂

Catherine x

P.s Have a look at some other recipes that I have here and contact me here if there are any that you would like me to try out.





My Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

My Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

Another Sunday, another bake 🙂 I got this recipe from my sister in law a few weeks ago and with the busy week ahead planned for me with my normal day job, holistic treatments to give, horse racing to go to (Annual Galway Races) and my Crossfit training. It’s always good to have some tasty snacks at the ready.

This weeks bake is a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread.


3 Bananas

130g Coconut Oil

150 ml Almond Milk

320g Spelt Flour

200g Coconut Sugar

80g Oats

3 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Baking Soda

1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt

80g Dark Chocolate (I used 75%)

1. Melt the oil and leave to cool.

2. Mix the spelt flour, oats,baking powder, baking soda and the Himalayan pink salt in a large mixing bowl.

3. Mash the banana with your hands into the dry mixture .

4. Whisk in the melted oil and sugar until the mixture is well combined.

5. Add the almond milk into the mixture and stir until all mixed well.

6. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces and fold it into the mixture.

7. Pour the batter into a well coconut oil greased tin and place in a pre heated oven (175c) for 35-40 minutes or until the bread is a deep golden brown in colour.


My verdict:

This is this first time I’ve made bread and I wasn’t too sure how it would pan out (pardon the pun!) but it’s nice,light and fluffy (due to the spelt flour). The sweetness of the bananas is balanced by the richness of the dark chocolate so it has a nice unique taste.

This bread will last up to 3 days in an airtight container and can be served on its own or with almond butter or nutella for an extra kick if required.

8.  Enjoy 🙂

Have a go and let me know how you get on.

Stay holistic 🙂

P.s Have a look at some other recipes that I have here and email me here if there are any that you would like me to try out.

My Super Seedy Flapjacks

My Super Seedy Flapjacks

Sunday afternoons in my house are about doing a bit of food preparation for the week ahead.  So I thought it would be a great opportunity to try out this recipe I found during the week.


150g unsalted butter

125g brown sugar

3 tablespoons of golden syrup

Lemon juice

75g seasame seeds

50g sunflower seeds

50g pumpkin seeds

200g porridge oats


  1. Cut the butter into squares and melt it with the maple syrup, lemon juice and sugar over a low heat until the sugar is dissolved.

2. Remove from the heat and mix in all the seeds and oats together until all the oats are covered with the liquid.

3. Prepare a baking tin with grease proof paper and spoon the mixture into it. Using the base of the spoon, press the mixture into the tin to pack it together.


4. Bake in a preheated oven (160C) for 20-25 minutes to until it’s golden around the edges.


5. Remove and let it cool (which will allow it to harden a bit so don’t panic if it’s still about soft after the bake) 😀 .

6. Melt some chocolate and spread over the flapjacks and leave to set. This step is completely optional and I do it on one side only so that I have a nice mixture of flapjacks.

7. Cut into sizes of choice and store in an airtight container.

8. Enjoy 🙂

My verdict:

This recipe is easy to make and once in a air tight container and stored in the fridge can last up to 3 days.

Served best with a nice cool glass of milk as a snack but is also very handy during the week for a little bit of energy while on the go.

Have a go and let me know how you get on!

Stay holistic 😀

Catherine x


P.S. Have a look at some other recipes that I have made here. 🙂

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars! 

Chocolate and Peanut Butter Bars! 

I had a little bit too much of that gorgeous June bank holiday sun over the weekend (tan lines to prove it) 😓so I decided today I would stay indoors and busy myself with a little little bit of ‘sweet’ baking !! 😀 (Actually this recipe is even better as it involves no baking at all) YES!!

I spotted this in the Sunday Independent Life magazine . So here it is for those of you who didn’t see it.
🌟Chewy chocolate and peanut butter bars!! 🌟

169grams of oats

125grams of honey

125grams of peanut butter

1/2 teaspoon of sea Salt

100grams of chocolate.

1.Pour the oats into a bowl .

2.Melt the honey over a medium heat and once it boils, stir for 1 minute.

3.Mix the peanut butter and salt and honey together until it’s all combines and the oats are completely covered.

4.Pour this lovely mixture into a pre lined baking tin.

5.Spread the mixture evenly in the tin and press it down around the edges with a base of a spoon.

6.Place the tin in the freezer.
✋Wait 20 mins✋
7.Remove the bar and cut into pieces.

8.Pour the melted chocolate over the pieces and using the base of the spoon spread it evenly. (You can also sprinkle coconut on the chocolate at this stage)

9.Place in an air tight container and store in the fridge until the chocolate has set.

10. Eat!

These never last long in my house but can last in the fridge for up to 3-4 days.
See it’s that easy, hope you get a chance to make themselves

P.s. They taste great with a glass of milk!

Enjoy 🙂
Stay holistic !
Catherine x

Homemade Chocolate Non Bake Bark…

Homemade Chocolate Non Bake Bark…

Tomorrow evening, my Crossfit (crossfit Galway) gym are having a ‘friendly’ in house competition and while I’m all ready for the workouts, the weights, the blood, the sweat and the tears ( and no doubt plenty of Burpees) that it will involve. (Bring it on!!!) 🙂

I have to say my favourite part of these events is the fact that we have a get together afterwards. Everyone can bring snacks,treats, food and we just have a nice relaxed laugh and catch up.

Some people also bring their own homemade snacks such as protein power balls, paleo snacks etc. I always find that it’s a great place to try these out and then we swap/ exchange each other recipes for future bakes.

So today I’d decided to make some of my own chocolate non bake bark. I’ve made it before for friends and it went down a storm.

They are very easy to make and you don’t have to follow any hard recipe or even really stick to any measurements. Just have the basics and then add in what you like.
Most of the ingredients you will probably already have in your cupboard or fridge.

For today’s ones I used:

1 punnet of strawberries

150 g of dark cooking chocolate

150 g of milk chocolate

100 g of dried fruit and nut mix or cranberries

50g of sliced almonds

Desiccated coconut
You will also need mixing bowls, grease proof paper and room in your fridge.
Simply melt the 2 types of chocolate in the microwave in separate bowls and then mix these together.

Line a large container with grease proof paper.( I use a large glass Pyrex dish)

Pour the chocolate mixture into it, spreading it about 1 inch deep.

Place the mixed fruit/nut/cranberries over this and gentle push into the wet chocolate with a spoon.

Chop the strawberries into 6/8 pieces and repeat over the fruit/nuts.

Sprinkle the desiccated coconut over these.

Place the bowl into the fridge to set into a bark.

After a few hours you will be able to remove the bark from the dish and slice into smaller pieces. I recommend that you store these in smaller sealable containers and keep refrigerated. I’m told that they can last for days but they never get the chance in my house. 🙂

Have a go yourself and let me know what you think.

Ps. It tastes lovely with a glass of cold milk!


Stay Holistic 🙂
Catherine x

My Ninja!!

My Ninja!!

I want to share with you all a little secret I discovered 2 months ago and it has really helped me a lot. It has increased my energy levels, helped me feel less sluggish (you know that feeling you get from eating too fast or a lot of the wrong things) and also and most importantly for me this change has helped clear my skin up! What is it you may ask?!?
Its the one and only Nutri Ninja smoothie/juice maker! 🙂

Ok maybe it’s not a big secret to some of you but I only discovered it in October and I use it now at least 5 mornings a week!
It was recommended to me by a few different friends who admired the fact that because it takes the whole fruit / vegetable. It leaves no mess, no waste and it’s so easy to clean(dish washer friendly). I was a bit hesitate at first as it was €120 euro in all retailers and I thought it would lose its shine after a few weeks like the old juicer and non branded smoothie maker I had. However this never did, it’s so easy to use and I now use it at least 5 mornings a week. November was extra busy for me and I have to say it’s definitely helped me stay on track with my healthy eating. I would use it in the morning and sometimes again after a training session or instead of a cooked dinner when I am very time restricted.
There are so many different recipes out there that you will never get bored with it and its sharp and power blades will blitz through every thing. ( I know someone who puts turnips into it!) 🙂
Below is my favourite recipe that I got inspiration for from ‘Deliciously Ella’s’ cook book and this is the one I use most work mornings. I even prepare it the night before and put in the fridge ready to go so I’ve no excuse.

Banana (peeled)
Spinach (handful)
Cup of frozen mixed berries (I get mine from Tesco -handy re sealable bag)
100ml almond milk
A scoop of protein powder (I use platinum and diamond)
2 tablespoons of porridge oats
The banana, oats and milk make it thick and the berries give it a sweet taste and a nice reddish colour and the spinach and protein powder give me that kick start that i need for the day ahead. (Working from the inside out).
In the morning take it out, blend for 20 seconds and drink straight away!! No fuzz!!

Honestly it’s that simple and there are days I’ve added kale/ celery or cucumber or forgotten to put in one ingredients and it’s no big problem.
These smoothies can be any combination and any colour and you know they are still going to be pure goodness.
I feel great after just a few weeks of starting to use this and I would highly recommend that if you have the money to invest in one,do. It’s a long term investment for your overall health and that’s always a good thing.

Ps if you have any nice recipes please feel free to share them with us here in The Holistic Toolkit. I’d love to hear from you.
Stay holistic 🙂

Catherine x