This Sh– is Bananas

B-A-N-A-N-A-S!


No? Ok.

Anyway, I’ve been on a wee bit of a health kick since January. Instead of following a fad diet like I usually do, this time I’ve decided to try something pretty darn revolutionary. I’m eating healthy food (aka more fruit and veg, less processed stuff) and I’ve cut out alcohol. I’ve also started running.

At first I thought I wouldn’t lose any weight on this regime. I thought if it was this simple, why would diets like Atkins exist? But after dropping 3 and a half kilos and 5cm off my waist and bust in a matter of weeks, I’m starting to think there might be something to this.

Over the past month or so I’ve realised that bananas are basically the best thing ever.Not only are they a tasty fruit you can munch on the go, they’re also perfect for days when you fancy eating something unhealthy. Ripe bananas are basically my best friends now. So if you’re eating clean and fancy some low calorie alternatives to high calorie food, look no further my friends!

Yep. This is a round up of my favourite one (or two) ingredient banana recipes.

Banana Ice Cream

Step one: Chop up a banana and freeze it.

Step two: Wait until it’s frozen

Step three: Blend it!

Step four: Enjoy your ice cream.

The best thing about this (apart from the fact that it’s totally vegan) is that you can customise it by adding other flavours. Blend in some frozen strawbs, or some peanut butter, or stir in some chocolate chips at the end. It’s so creamy and sweet, just like proper ice cream.

Full recipe: Tree Hugger

Banana Pancakes

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Step one
: Mash up a banana

Step two: Whisk in an egg

Step three: Drop a tablespoon full of mixture into a greased pan. Make the pancakes small cos they’re a bitch to flip.

Step four: Enjoy a stack of pancakes like a true American!

These pancakes are rich, sweet, light and fluffy. If you can get the fact that you’re basically eating a banana omelette out of your head, they’re pretty much the perfect breakfast.

Full recipe:  Top with Cinnamon

Banana Cookies

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Step one: Pre-heat your oven to 180 C

Step two: Mash up a banana

Step three: Add 100g of porridge oats (and any extras like cinnamon, raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc)

Step three: Form into roughly 16 blob shapes, flattening them onto a greased baking tray.

Step four: Bake them for 15 minutes

Step five: burn your mouth because you’re too impatient to let them cool 🙁

These are so quick and easy to throw together, and so tasty. Usually I bake up a batch and James and I will just munch our way through a whole plate of them over a cup of coffee for him and a green tea for me. The texture is slightly different from a traditional cookie, but I think they’re lovely jubbly. It’s a shame they never seem to last… maybe I’ll double the quantities next time…

Full Recipe: The Burlap Bag

Banana Parfait

AKA lazy Jemma breakfast.

Step one: Chop up a banana and stick it in a big wine glass

Step two: Plop some Greek yoghurt on top

Step three: Slice a strawberry on top if you’re feeling decadent.

Seriously, this is such a good way to set yourself up for the day. It’s creamy and yummy enough to basically be comfort food, and it’s healthier than buying those Greek yoghurts that have jammy compote lurking around at the bottom. At least that’s what I like to tell myself.

February Round-Up

February1. Beautiful day at the explorer’s tower 2. Enjoying date night at The Old Pharmacy 3. Wandering 4. The Electricity Factory 5. The Caves pay a visit 6 & 7 lovely graffiti 8. Enjoying the view 9. Mum’s birthday!

February Highlights

Celebrating our ‘anniversary

It’s hard to believe, but James and I have been together officially for three years now! I’m not sure if I can deal with all this long term commitment stuff.  As the day itself fell midweek, and we’re still sticking to our diets, we were fairly good and just popped down to the LX Factory for a quick steak sarnie. On the Friday though, we really pushed the boat out. We went to the excellent fish restaurant Frade dos Mares, and then stumbled up to Bairro Alto for some bubbly. Lovely evening, though a wee bit marred by my sore ankle.

Les & Mary come to visit

James’s mum and dad popped up to Lisbon for a visit and we had a great time wandering around in the sunshine, showing them some of our favourite places, and just generally having a bit of a catch up. One of the highlights was doing the “touristy” thing in Belem. On Sundays the national monuments are all free to enter, so we wandered around the Monastery of Jerónimos and climbed up the Tower of Belem. We also had a browse of the flea market and then finished off with an excellent kebab in Pao Pao Queijo Queijo.

Exploring more of Lisbon

We don’t have long left in this beautiful city *sob* so we did what anyone would do and dedicated more time to wandering around it. We made it up to trendy Principe Real but unfortunately the uber cool O Prego da Peixaria was too busy for us to sample one of their famous fish burgers. Instead we lounged about on the terrace of Lost In, a sort of Indian inspired hangout that I felt was lacking in atmosphere. We found an awesome travel book shop in Santos, and even managed to wander around those famously winding streets of Alfama that everyone loves so much. I really liked walking into town along the waterfront; lots of cool graffiti and big empty warehouses.

Surprising my mum in Edinburgh

It was a big birthday for my mum this year, she turned the big “five-oh” at the end of the month. I decided it would be awful to let it pass without incident, so I decided to surprise her by flying home on her birthday and taking her out for afternoon tea the next day. I didn’t tell her I was arriving (although my dad knew) and seriously, it was so worth it just to make her cry on her big day! We went out for dinner at Purslane, had an utterly fabulous afternoon experience at the North Bridge Brasserie, and then spent about 8 hours in Jeremiah’s Taproom because my mum decided to start her celebrations at 4pm. She’s a crazy lady, that one.

Anyway, that was my February in a nutshell!