Quinoa, courgette & spinach bake

The mornings can be a rush can’t they? You’re trying to kick off with your tasks and responsibilities. Get to work, sort the kids, respond to emails, social messages, organise your diary…. the list goes on. I commend all the Mum’s out there as I know you have it particularly tough.

The last thing you want is to have to spend longer than you want on a healthy breakfast.

So many people say to me, I don’t have time to make eggs each morning and I completely understand. Whilst my self-employed lifestyle is different these days, I did use to travel a lot with my job at IBM and on many days I had to leave at 6:30am to get a train somewhere.

Cooking scrambled eggs at that time was not really an option if I wanted to have a decent amount of sleep and look half respectable!

Egg type bakes and efficient cooking habits absolutely were the cornerstone to my low sugar success. They stopped me from grabbing sugary things from train stations and they saved me quite a bit of money too.

So here’s a easily transportable and reheatable spinach, courgette quinoa bake recipe that packs in super protein nutrition and gets those valuable greens in first thing.


I’m on a mission to ban ‘no time for healthy breakfast’ excuses if it’s the last thing I do!

This recipe is relatively easy and is a protein packed substantial breakfast-snack-lunch that packs in nutritious green vegetables and amino acid busting quinoa. It’s gluten-free but feels a little bit like a savoury flapjack of sorts.


Quinoa, courgette & spinach bake


Serves 9 small portions as a snack or 6 larger breakfast portions


  • 200g or 4-5 large handfuls of spinach (washed)
  • 1 courgette, make 9 slices and dice the rest.
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 knob butter & some extra for greasing
  • 1 tbsp dried rosemary (you can use fresh if you want)
  • 200g dried quinoa (1 cup) made according to packet directions
  • 3 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk (I used almond milk in this case)
  • 25g grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt & pepper




  • Grease an 8inch glass baking dish with butter and pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Cook the quinoa according to the packet
  • Prepare a big bowl of water with ice cubes in it
  • Cook (blanche) the spinach by bringing a pot of large water to boil and placing the spinach in it. Cook for 1 minute until the spinach goes dark green.
  • Drain in a sieve and quickly put into the iced water. This helps keep the nutrients.
  • Once cooled, remove the spinach from the iced bowl and squeeze out the excess water. Place in a bowl on the side for later.
  • Heat the knob of butter in a large pan over a medium heat and fry the onion, garlic for a few minutes.
  • Add the diced courgette, rosemary and season with salt and pepper
  • Cook until the onion is translucent and the courgette soft
  • Add all the ingredients (quinoa, onion courgette mix, spinach, cheese, eggs) together in a bowl and mix together.
  • Spoon into the glass dish and push down evenly
  • Add the courgette slices, some extra grated parmesan and black pepper to the top
  • Cook in the oven for 60-70 minutes until golden on top
  • Leave to cool & then slice up into portions & keep in the fridge

Try this

  • Ok I know there’s garlic in this, but honestly it’s good enough to eat for breakfast!
  • Use as a carry around sugar-free snack or substantial protein-healthy carbohydrate addition to a lunchtime salad.
  • Use a sneaky way to get nutrient packed spinach into children’s diets or grown ups who don’t like green vegetables!

Do you struggle with finding the time to have a healthy protein packed breakfast in the morning?


Sugar-free rosemary & walnut granola (& broccoli basil mash!)

Like crunchy stuff in the morning but don’t want sugar?

Do you LOVE granola but are conscious that even the healthier sweeter ones still put that sweet in your mouth?

Granola is just moorish, satisfying and well of course, sweet isn’t it.

I used to be hooked on sugary granola, like snacking on it out of the box throughout the day and using it as my more healthy sugar fix that really wasn’t that healthy. You may know that yellow-orange box Dorset Cereal honey one? Fair to say I was rather out of control with that stuff for a period of time. The lowest sugar granola on the market I’ve found since is Lizi’s Granola which I’ve reviewed here.

To put each into comparison, the Dorset Cereal honey one is 15% sugar where as Lizi’s is just 4%. Quite a difference.


Anyway, if you’ve a serious granola weakness like me, say big hello to this savoury rosemary and walnut variation. This recipe is super simple and requires NO sweetening with sugar, date syrup, rice syrup or anything else. You can get a granola hit whilst your dialling down your palate to sweetness. The rosemary and the natural sweetness from the roasting of the nuts and seeds makes this tasty and satisfying.

Warning: It’s so nice, it’s slightly addictive but in a savoury salty way that is a little more controllable than with a sugary one.

I’ve made this recipe nut and seed heavy over the oats. This makes it a great fat and protein topping for soups, salads and dips where it’s lower on the carbohydrate count. You can adjust these proportions if you wish e.g add more oats or remove them completely.

Let me know what you think and enjoy

Sugar-free rosemary & walnut granola


Makes a batch that serves about 10-12 portions


  • 1 ½ cups (150g) walnut halves (ideally activated to make them easier on your digestion)
  • 1 cup (130g) cashew nuts
  • 1 cup (140g) mixed seeds (I did 50:50 sunflower & pumpkin)
  • ½ cup (60g) rolled oats (use gluten free buckwheat or quinoa flakes if you like)
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary (or use fresh if you like)
  • ½ tsp coarse black pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp melted unflavoured coconut oil (you can substitute olive oil if you want)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)




  • Pre-heat the oven to 180C
  • Chop all the nuts roughly
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and make sure all is coated with the oil. If you need add a little more up to 1 more tablespoon
  • Line a baking tray with parchment and bake in the oven for 40-50 minutes until starting to go golden
  • Remove and let cool thoroughly before keeping in an airtight container
  • Serve as a topping, eat as a snack or have for breakfast with milk/yoghurt of your choice

What did I do with mine?

I was replenishing after an indulgent wedding weekend so I whipped together this super green vegan veggie bowl with kale, avocado, spinach, tahini and the granola.



One day I also made some broccoli & basil mash and had it on top for a light lunch. It was nutritious, full of texture, unusual and mighty delicious! I kept leftovers in the fridge and I even had this with the granola on top for breakfast the next day. Who said eating lower sugar was boring!?!

Broccoli mash


Makes 2-3 portions of mash


  • 1 head of broccoli
  • handful fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (ideally odourless like this one)
  • 1-2 tbsp of the water the broccoli cooks in
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  • Steam the the broccoli in a pan with a little boiling water until soft
  • Reserve the water and cool in a colander under some cold water
  • Add everything to a food processor and blend
  • You can re-heat the mash in the microwave or eat cold (I loved it cold especially on a hot day)


Are you a fan of granola? Have you ever thought of or tried savoury? Fancy trying this? Do you know that yellow-orange Dorset Cereal stuff I’m talking about!!??
Laura x


Living lower sugar…in Bali

In this article today I want to give you a bit of a guide and lowdown to how I’ve been living a lower sugar diet in Bali and the practicalities of this.

If you ever come on holiday or to work here, this may be helpful. However, it’s also likely to show you general principles, tips and tricks for keeping a practical healthy when you’re away and reassure you that life can still be lived without overdoing it on sweetness.

Why am I in Bali?

Just quickly I’ll explain this. I’m not on one big holiday as it seems. I’m actually here to focus and get clarity on where, how and what I want to do with Happy Sugar Habits going forward (exciting things in the making!). I’m in a place called Ubud – which is also renowned for it’s yoga and health scene but also now a supportive business community. It’s inspiration on steroids, seriously.

There is a co-working space called Hubud (with a raw food café!), a network of support and a vibrant expat community. I’ve continued to blog, work on projects and coach over Skype much the same as I would in the UK (my clients just see a lot of bamboo in the background!)

You can read more about where I am in this Telegraph article that was published last weekend all about it.

So what’s the deal with the sugar and food out here…

I’m eating out 90% of the time

I don’t really have a fully functional kitchen here so I eat out most of the time. It’s affordable and social. I miss my kitchen and the process of cooking somewhat, and obviously I’m not overseeing what exactly goes in the food, how it’s cooked etc. I know to some this sounds like a dream (no cooking hassle) and to others it sounds like a nightmare (loss of control). I’d be interested to know what your personal thoughts would be if you were to switch to this for a period of time? I have to say I’m really enjoying it, especially now I know where I can get quality goodness at a good price.

The first picture below is a raw food avocado sandwich from Living Food Lab and the second is a DIY salad from Alchemy.



Experimental vs. home comfort

When looking through my pictures of food I realise I don’t have as many of real local food as I would like. You’re really spoilt for choice in Ubud and can get a very wide range of healthy and international cuisines. One minute I’ll eat really local but the next I’ll just find a feta cheese salad or something. This comes with being away for longer than a month. Sometimes I just want to know what I’m getting and that it’s going to have enough vegetables to make me happy and not too much suspect oil that makes me feel unwell.

I keep largely to the basic principles of eating lots of veg, ensuring some healthy fat (usually avocado, olive oil dressing, nuts or seeds) and some protein (usually eggs, tempeh, tofu, tuna or chicken).



Eggs are in abundance here. Breakfast I’m often having eggs with sides or just some local fruit (banana, mangosteen) with nuts or seeds if I’m not that hungry. One time I ate an avocado and some coconut flakes which was a bit random. Over the past few months I’ve started eating avocado like a fruit (technically it is one anyway).


In my homestay where I stayed early on I would have poached eggs, tomato and a watermelon juice plus some nuts I bought myself on the side for healthy fat.


The pictures below are breakfasts I’ve had at Clear Café Ubud and Atman Kafe – two places that are more touristy/expat centred but have understood well what the health conscious yogi’s here want.



On the cheaper side, most local warungs (restaurants) you can get a load of greens & a few boiled eggs for less than £1. I’ve also tried some interesting savoury breakfasts like the rice, ginger, peanut and green bean dish in the picture.


Pancakes are a common breakfast option here I’ve seen many have. I’ve had a couple – one being at 2am before I climbed a mountain. They are usually dripping in honey and have sugar added to the pancake mix so are obviously not the best regular breakfast to have. Note that day I also had warm banana sandwiches and boiled eggs cooked by the steam at the top. Flipping cool that I had to share!


Vegetarian focus (Ubud)

I’m not a vegetarian but I’ve been eating a lot more vegetarian. Ubud is this super health conscious bubble in Bali and there’s a big vegan and vegetarian scene. Generally I like this a lot as it means an abundance of vegetables, however sometimes I do find I’m craving more fat and sometimes more protein. Ordering a side of avocado or maybe some tuna helps with this.

The picture below is a tempeh lasagne I had. It was amazing but I was starving after a hardcore yoga vinyassa class and found I was still a bit hungry afterwards – needed more satiating fat!


One of my favourite Indonesian vegetarian dishes here is Gado Gado – boiled vegetables, egg, tofu, tempeh and peanut sauce. I’m not sure exactly what they put in the peanut sauce from place to place – but I know it most (if not all) of the time contains two ingredients I’m not a massive fan of – sugar and vegetable oil. Both of these are not ideal but I let them slide as generally Gado Gado is a healthy, cheap local option and I now ask for the peanut sauce on the side so I can dip at my leisure (I once ordered it and it was like a few vegetables in peanut sauce soup!).


Sugar on the side

Juices, teas and coffees you usually get a shot of sugar or sugar syrup on the side here. I quite like the concept of this as it gives people the option to add sweetness according to their own taste preference (where I can opt to add none). Wouldn’t it be great if everything had this option?

However sometimes they do automatically add sugar to something like a watermelon juice or iced coffee so I’ve got into the habit of just saying ‘no sugar’ or ‘sugar on side’ when I order. It’s quite widely accepted as a request here – so much so that some places they even ask me before I say it. The picture below is an organic red rice tea I tried – naturally sweet from the rice and no sugar needed (well for me anyway).



I find in hot countries drinks are tricky because you can crave something more than just water. I written about this here and some tips you can use.

One amazing thing over here is the abundance of limes and coconuts. As an alternative to good old water, my low sugar drinks of choice to quench thirst are fresh lime juice (no sugar added) and young coconut water. Both are low in fructose and super refreshing when cold. You can also get lime and mint blends, water with cucumber and coconut water that’s infused with cinnamon. All totally sugar-free.


When I get home, I’m going to make a big bottle of lime infused water and keep in my fridge for the summer! For anyone that complains just water is boring or is still tempted by fizzy drinks, this is a great one to try.

I do also have the occasional watermelon juice. It’s got a high water content and so is really refreshing without being too sweet (just check they don’t add the sugar).

Green juices are all around here. I tend to drink them for added nutrition rather than to quench or satisfy thirst. I also double check how much % fruit they are but I have to say the green juices here are veggie hardcore compared to the 60% apple juice type you get a lot of places at home in the UK.

Watching out for natural sugars

Because of the thriving health scene here, there are lots of ‘healthy’ sweet treats made with healthier alternatives to refined white sugar. Whilst this is great, I recognise this as a potential danger zone for me. You’ll find it hard to get hooked on white ‘sugar’ here but you’ll find it very easy to build up a fructose preference if you’re not careful.

There are loads of bliss type balls made with dates, cakes made with coconut sugar, blended iced drinks sweetened with honey etc. I’ve had a few as a treat here and there because largely I can trust myself more with sweet food, however there are days when I notice cravings creeping up if I go too much on these so I’m still careful. Luckily on the whole my body does tell me when I’ve had enough.


Sometimes I buy something and just test it out with my own tastebuds to gauge the fructose. For example I found these low sugar biscuits at a place Dayu’s Warung that are sweetened more heavily with coconut. I also found some bliss bars that again use goji berries and coconut rather than dates to sweeten which suffices for less of a fructose hit.

Finally…chocolate banana pizza!

I know this isn’t healthy but I found it amusing. There is a popular pizza joint here and they serve a chocolate and banana pizza. Some of my friends go crazy for it. I would have previously gone crazy for it but actually it makes me feel a bit sick now (I did try one slice of a friends and confirmed this).



I think it’s a good litmus test to help you determine where you are with sugar. Do you want to eat the entire chocolate pizza? Are you just curious to try a slice? Or does it really not appeal to you for various reasons? I would love to hear in a comment below!

The final message

I know this is a random lot of info but I just wanted to share honestly that I’m not eating super super healthy all of the time but I am still eating a lower sugar lifestyle whilst enjoying myself, being social, doing everything I want to etc. I hope it helps you do two things 1) learn some tips and tricks to use when away 2) know that wherever you are in moving towards a life less sugar, it’s really not a life sentence and can be practically managed.

Any thoughts or questions? Could you eat that PIZZA!!?? LOL

P.S if you like this article then let me know as I’ve got enough material to write a Part II!

P.P.S If you’ve enjoyed these pictures then follow me on Instagram for more and say hello…

@happysugarhabits (lower sugar lifestyle tips and inspiration

@lauraj_thomas (my personal account – food, sunsets and cute stuff)




Fructose-free muesli base recipe

Muesli was one of my favourite sugar-filled foods but even when labelled sugar-free, it can still be packed to the nines with dried fruit.

Make this basic muesli base and you can call the shots on the sugar in your muesli bowl by either having it plain or by adding a little fruit sweetness to your own taste depending on where you are with your sweet cravings.

Fructose-free muesli base


Makes 8-10 portions


  • 1 ½ cups mixed nuts (I use hazelnuts, almonds and walnuts but any mix will do)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup flaxseed powder
  • ½ cup unsweetened dessicated coconut
  • ½ cup chia seeds (optional)
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup pumpkin seeds


  • Put all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix well
  • Pour into an airtight container
  • Serve with your choice of cold milk, yoghurt or extras


Try this

  • If you’re in a super low fructose period, try mixing with some full fat yoghurt and topping with coconut flakes and raw cacao nibs.
  • For a low fructose twist add either some fresh raspberries, a chopped kiwi fruit or some blueberries.
  • Ultimately as you grow more confident with sweet, add whichever fruit you like best – I personally love either chopped apple, peach or goji berries with cacao nibs
  • Activating or soaking your nuts will make them easier to digest

Do you make your own muesli? Have you found any that are particularly low sugar that you would be willing to share?



Low sugar sweet potato smoothie recipe

When you’re first transitioning to lower sugar life, I’ll always recommend you start with a hearty egg-based breakfast of sorts to get you into the savoury groove.

However I know with summer months on their way and the fun of a blender, smoothies are quite desirable and I’m a fan.

They are something to experiment with when you really notice your tastebuds have become more sensitive to sweet food because you’ll appreciate them and will be able to use just a small bit of fruit to make them slightly sweet.

I’ve already written quite a lot on smoothies from a low sugar standpoint that should help you:

Today I have an awesome recipe to share…a low sugar sweet potato smoothie!! This was delicious. I’m writing this now and I want some again.

It is a great recipe for kids who don’t like the look of green smoothie and prefer orange. It packs in the fantastic nutrition of a sweet potato at breakfast and is nicely balanced with protein, healthy fat & carbohydrate. Also because the sweet potato has a naturally sweet flavour, you only need a little banana and coconut to make this palatable. I’ve noted the base recipe here, but as with all smoothies, you can add whole load of extras if you wish.

Sweet potato smoothie


Makes 2 portions


½ frozen banana (in slices or chunks) or ½ banana plus a few ice cubes
1 large sweet potato
5 tbsp full fat Greek yoghurt
300ml milk of choice
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tbsp dessicated coconut
2 tbsp flaxseed powder (optional)
2 tbsp chia seeds (optional)

Coconut flakes, chia seeds & cinnamon to top

Optional Extras

2 tbsp nut butter
2 tbsp sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp maca powder
Chopped nuts or seeds (topping)
Cacao nibs (topping)


Cook the sweet potato in the microwave for 7-9 minutes until soft and cooked through. (You could also bake it the night before and refrigerate of course)
Peel the skin off and mash onto a plate to cool a little. If you have time let it cool for 10 mins.
Add all the other ingredients to your blender.
Finally add the sweet potato and blend together.
Divide into two glasses and add toppings.


Cook once eat twice: Cover one smoothie portion with cling film & have the next day.
If your smoothie isn’t cold enough, add an ice cube or two.
Swap in coconut milk and yoghurt/cream to make this dairy free.
Use Greek yoghurt to maximise the protein but natural yoghurt will work fine.

Do you fancy trying out this smoothie recipe? Have you ever thought of putting sweet potato in a smoothie before?


Avocado on toast: Your ultimate guide

So I thought I’d dedicate a whole post to avocado on toast. YUM!

Why? It’s a nifty, quick, super nutritious & tasty low sugar breakfast that appeals to many and is good breakfast if you’re weaning yourself off of sugary stuff.

A lot of people come to me saying they don’t have time for eggs in the morning or they are short on time.

Well, avocado on toast works around this problem because it is super quick. By the time your toast has toasted, you can peel and mash half an avocado. 5mins tops.

Benefits of avocado on toast

  • Healthy fats & something green in your breakfast
  • Source of fibre, potassium and antioxidants
  • Feels decadent & indulgent
  • Can flavour or fancy to taste (salt, chilli flakes, herbs, seeds etc.)
  • Filling because avocado is a source of protein & fat
  • Children & fussy adults generally like it too (I’ve found anyway)
  • Oh, nearly forgot this one…completely sugar and sugar substitute free!

On top of this, there are some recent studies that show avocado really is flipping good for you. Read about the 12 proven benefits of avocados on Authority Nutrition if you’re still not convinced (or feeling still a bit scared of the fat).

So how can you have it?


Chilli flakes & salt




Cottage cheese & pumpkin seeds









You could also melt some cheese on top but I haven’t done this myself yet (I suspect it’s really good if you’ve had too many drinks the night before!)

I also found 7 other (more fancy) ways to do you avocado on toast on 700experience.com. Puts my pictures to shame and makes you hungry!

Don’t want to make? Eat out!

Of course you can make avocado on toast at home pretty easily, but you can also now get it out and about. Eggs will always be a brunch winner, but avocado on toast, now more widely available could be another winning savoury option.

I recently spoke to the lovely Natalie Glazee – author of The Nutritionista which is a nice little healthy website full of helpful interviews & reviews.


Natalie knows the London avocado toast scene a lot better than I do so I picked her brains for list of places that could accommodate this sugar-free request.

Even if you don’t live in London, you could keep this list to hand in case you ever visited. I’ve certainly got some on my radar.

Note: Even if somewhere doesn’t do avocado on toast, you can always ask for it – I suspect quite a few places will oblige.

Do you like or have you tried avocado on toast? Is it something you’d consider? What is your favourite way? Comment below with any other suggestions!




Savoury olive & almond flapjacks

Calling flapjack lovers, this recipe is AMAZING! I’ve been excited for nearly a whole week about sharing it with you because I know that cereal bars, flapjacks and all things like that are a killer for sugar yet can be handy to carry or eat on the go.

I used to eat flapjacks and cereal bars like nobody’s business when I was a sugar fiend so I’ve wanted to create a sugar-free option for a while now. If you find yourself at the mercy of cereal bars, flapjacks and quick grab sugary bars, these could be a great option.

You also don’t have the hassle of deciding which sugar substitute to use which can be a confusing business to say the least!


Even though you might feel cumin is a no go first thing, you can definitely eat these for breakfast and i’d encourage you to break out of your comfort zone by doing so.

Alternatively eat them as a handy snack, have with your lunch, or use in the kid’s lunch boxes (maybe just omit the chilli flakes).

The pumpkin and chia seed topping is optional to simply boost the nutritional count and make them look pretty!

Savoury olive & almond flapjacks


Makes 8 large bars or 16 smaller bites


  • 200g rolled oats (2 cups)
  • 300ml milk (1 ½ cups)
  • 75g almonds (½ cup)
  • 20g parmesan cheese (⅓ cup, grated)
  • 60g black pitted olives (½ cup)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds (optional)


  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, mix the oats, salt, herbs and spices together with the ground flaxseed
  • Add the milk and leave it to soak for 10 minutes whilst you prepare the rest
  • Roughly chop the olives, almonds and grate the parmesan cheese
  • Add these ingredients to the mixture, stir well
  • Pour the mixture into the tin and spread evenly
  • Sprinkle over the chia seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Bake for 45 minutes, remove and let cool
  • Slice into bars or squares
  • Keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days


More foodie and sugar-free meal inspiration

I’ve also just started a new Instagram feed @happysugarhabits which is solely dedicated to helping you beat the sugar cravings and get a daily dose of inspiration to help you embrace a practical lower sugar life and feel in control. I’ve got Fit Food Emma helping out so do follow and let us know what you think. This feed is to really help you so feedback is always welcome.

What do you think of savoury flapjacks and eating these for breakfast? Have you ever tried a savour flapjack before? Please do let me know if you try this recipe and what you think.


Protein chocolate mousse

Sugar-free cookie dough mousse

So many of the sugar-free recipes out there you read and then stumble upon something that you’re not too keen on – or is this just me?! Whether it’s a load of dates, agave nectar, coconut sugar, stevia or even the better brown rice syrup, things are sweetened with something (even some of my recipes!).

I know a few of you have got in touch to tell me about Davina’s 5 weeks to sugar-free. I’m going to review her book in due course but yes she does use maple syrup and honey which still have a major fructose element. Recipes like this are great for transitioning off refined sugar to something slightly better and more natural alternatives, but If you’re trying to change tastebuds & cravings more significantly, maple syrup/honey substitution isn’t the way to go. I love Davina & what she’s doing but I’m telling you that the Mentor Me Off Sugar recipes & meal plan will get much more significant & better results.

So with all these sugar substitutes bounding around in ‘sugar-free’ recipes, I’ve really got a lot of time for recipes that don’t contain any of the above and are more truely fructose free. They’re just naturally sweet because of the clever combination of ingredients & flavours. My sweet potato & walnut cake falls into this category and is one of my most popular recipes.

So I’m excited to introduce you to a really unusual and clever sugar-free recipe courtesy of my friend Emma Charles (www.fitfoodemma.com & @Fitfoodemma on Instagram).

This mouse uses CHICKPEAS as a base. Yes chickpeas…in a dessert/mousse. Now before you start scoffing (I know my friends will!), I literally beg you to try this recipe. Since Emma sent it over I’ve whipped it up 4-5 times slightly tweaking it each time to my own taste. I just love how easy, quick and tasty it is. It’s pretty high in (healthy) fats & protein and so it’s ridiculously filling.

You could have it as breakfast, a snack or a treat in the evening when the post meal sweet temptation rocks in. It will satiate and satisfy you so much, you won’t want much else.

Sugar-free cookie dough mousse

Serves 4

Protein chocolate mousse



  • ½ tin (120g) chickpeas, drained (I recommend KTC as they’re softer than most other brands)
  • 4 tbsp peanut, cashew, hazelnut or almond butter (100% nuts)
  • 100g ripe avocado
  • 10g cocoa powder
  • 40g unsweetened protein powder (or 15g coconut/wholemeal flour)
  • ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Approx. 55ml milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
  • Raw cacao nibs or 60g 85%+ dark chocolate, chopped into small chunks

Optional toppings: unsweetened coconut flakes, grated dark chocolate


  • Blend all the ingredients except the dark chocolate together in a food processor or blender, then
  • gently stir through in the chocolate.
  • Taste and add a little more coconut oil or vanilla extract if you prefer a sweeter mousse. Add more milk if you need to make it slightly more runny.
  • Pour into four glasses or ramekins – shot glasses work well – and refrigerate for at least an hour (Laura – I eat it straight away, so impatient!)
  • Add your toppings and serve.

Emma’s Free ebook

Emma has launched a free recipe ebook with some brilliant and properly sugar-free recipes. It costs just £1.99 but if you use the code FITFOODJAN this month,  you can download completely free. She does tend to use a protein powder which I’m personally undecided on and tend to avoid (although I’m going to try the one Emma recommends). Just be careful when ordering things like protein powders so that you don’t order one with Sucralose or another artificial sweetener – protein powders can be a bit sneaky in adding something sweet (& usually very artificial) in. Anyway, I’ve been making this recipe with the coconut flour substitute (works fine) and on occasion just with an extra dollop of nut butter. The recipes in Emma’s book are really great – this girl has natural talent so check it out for some inspiration.

<Download Emma’s ebook HERE>

Are you absolutely mortified at the thought of having chickpeas in a mousse? Do you find it frustrating that so many ‘sugar-free’ recipes aren’t truly sugar-free? Have you got Davina’s book yet? Comment below and please let me know if you try and what you think.



Sugar-free breakfast: Salmon & leek bake recipe

Have you ever got something out of the freezer, let it defrost and then realise you don’t need it for whatever reason?

I did this last week with two salmon fillets and so I decided to create a new recipe that would allow me to eat them for breakfast instead. The result is this delicious, easy and very practical breakfast bake. I had an insanely early start last week, travelling up to Preston on the 5:30am train from Euston (which required a 4:40am taxi!). This bake saved me from having to make do with a panini or instant porridge pot from the Virgin train cafe.


With the good omega-3 fats, a serious amount of protein and the fibre from the vegetables, this is a superb #happysugarhabit breakfast that is mega tasty, easily transported and will keep hunger at bay about 10x better than a bowl of Shreddies!

It will set you up in the morning with a tasty savoury flavour and get your body burning fat and protein over a sustained period of time rather than an insulin-spiking quick release carbohydrate or sugary breakfast likely to have you starving for lunch…or even worse, craving sugary things at 11am! Another recipe similar to this is the feta & leek breakfast casserole.

Efficient cooking

I’ve tried to write the recipe instructions in a way that helps you cook this in the quickest time possible – telling you what to do and when, to ensure you’re as time efficient as possible. This is just me being process geeky (I used to be a process consultant) but it’s to help you when that ‘I haven’t got time’ excuse starts to come up.

If you find it helpful to follow such detailed instructions and cooking times then please leave a comment below and I will try to write more recipes with specific instructions of this nature. I will also time them accurately so I can add how long each will take (& if you can have a shower/feed the kids in the middle somewhere!).

So here’s the recipe….enjoy!

Salmon & leek breakfast bake

Makes 5-6 portions


  • 8 eggs
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • 1 small-med leek, 1 cm sliced
  • 1 small courgette, grated
  • 2 tbls cottage cheese (optional)
  • 2 tbls milk (again use almond if you want to be dairy free)
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 knob butter


Heat the grill to medium, line a tray with foil and add the salmon fillets, seasoning with salt & pepper & a squeeze of lemon juice. Grill until cooked through (3-4 minutes on each side).

In the meantime, heat the butter in a pan at low-medium heat whilst you chop the vegetables. Add the leeks and courgette and slowly fry to soften for 5-10mins, stirring occasionally whilst you do the other bits.

Grease a baking dish with butter.

Remove the cooked salmon from the grill and turn the grill off. Put the oven on at 180C to preheat. Remove the skin from the salmon and roughly break up/chop.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, parsley, milk & cottage cheese together in a large bowl. By now your vegetables should have softened.

Drain the leeks and courgettes.  Add the drained leeks, courgette and chopped salmon to your egg mix. Combine well & season with extra salt & pepper to taste.  Pour into the greased dish, scatter with a little more dried parsley.

Bake in the oven for 40mins until cooked through (test with a knife in the middle). If it doubt, give it another 5 minutes.

Serve with a side of your choice e.g. spinach or avocado goes well. Alternatively just wrap portions in foil and use for breakfast/lunch/dinner on the hoof when you know you won’t have time to eat properly.

Can you see yourself eating salmon for breakfast and enjoying it? Are time saving process instructions helpful to you? Would love to know so please leave a comment below or ask me a question :)

Laura xx

The kindest sugar detox ever!

If you’re feeling like you might be ready to experiment with a structured sugar detox programme to help you develop a healthier relationship with sweet (& yourself in the process) then don’t forget to make sure you’re at the front of the queue to hear the latest around Mentor Me Off Sugar come the new year. This programme positively changes lives, attitudes and habits – I would love it to help you too!


Sugar-free chocolate chip spiced pumpkin cookies

As I’ve mentioned before, some days I still crave cake. I don’t crave the sugar as much, it’s the real ‘cake’ texture with a cup of tea that I occasionally fancy. So I seek to develop recipes that can hit that spot without being overly sweet. My tried and trusted favourite to date is my sweet potato and walnut cake.

This recipe also hits the spot pretty well, but as with my recipes like this I will warn you that it is really low sugar.  Your carrot cake loving friend may not be falling over themselves to have another and likewise because they aren’t too sweet, you’re unlikely to eat more than 1-2 at a time.

I’ve used brown rice syrup but I also tried this recipe with a 50:50 blend of brown rice syrup and stevia (I used Natvia) which worked just as well. If you do want them sweeter, you can probably use the same quantity of a healthier higher fructose sugar substitute like coconut sugar, date sugar or raw honey. However they obviously won’t be as ‘fructose-free’ of low sugar.





This recipe uses up any leftover pumpkin you have around but works just as well with butternut squash. I quite often roast two halves of a butternut squash and keep them in the fridge ready to use during the week. If I have any left over, I mash and freeze it in ice cube trays to use in recipes like this or, if I fancy it, in pumpkin/butternut squash porridge.

Because I made these more to my low sugar palate, I froze most of them so that I have a quick microwavable cake fix at home that won’t result in later sugar cravings. If you’re a cake fan, it’s a good strategy to try and it can help you break down your cravings i.e. work out if it’s a texture craving or a sugar/fructose craving.

Anyway, enough of my rambling…here’s the recipe…enjoy!

Let me know what you think in the comments below – would love to know how you go with these.

Sugar-free chocolate chip spiced pumpkin cookies

Makes 12 large cookies



  • 125g butter (softened)
  • 190g rye or wholemeal flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 6 tbls brown rice syrup (or Natvia or a mix of both)
  • 125g pumpkin mash (or butternut squash mash)
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp all spice
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg (I used freshly grated)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 50g dark chocolate, chopped(I used Green & Blacks 85%)


  • Preheat the oven to 180C
  • Line two baking trays with parchment paper
  • Combine the butter with brown rice syrup (or/and Natvia) in a large bowl. You may need to melt the butter slightly if not soft enough. Do this by placing in a glass bowl and put in the heating oven for a few minutes to do so
  • Add the vanilla essence and whisk together
  • Add the egg and whisk until combined
  • Add the pumpkin mash, and whisk until combined
  • Combine the flour, spices, baking powder together in a bowl
  • Fold 1/3 of the flour mixture at a time into the wet mixture until all combined
  • Add the chocolate chunks or chips
  • Spoon 6 large tablespoons of the mixture onto each baking tray
  • Place in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly brown

Best served when warm straight out of the oven with a glass of cold milk or a cup of tea!

Also a quick note..

Want to adjust your palate low sugar style so you need less sweet to satisfy? Mentor Me Off Sugar is unfortunately now closed for new enrolments but you can get to the front of the queue for the next kick off after Christmas 2014. Click here to get yourself on my priority radar and enter your details into the form.