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It took me a couple of weeks (I kid you not) to work out why it was call KOBOX, but after a little deliberation, it finally clicked. KNOCK OUT… boxing; an energetic combination of cardio and strength to give you one intense workout.

The notion of exercise classes has never been my sort of thing – the idea of being cooped up inside a sweaty room with 20-30 other sweaty bodies whilst an instructor shouts at you is far from what I’d call fun. I’d much rather lace up my trainers and escape outdoors on foot and run. However through moving to London, working at Nike and spending a few too many hours on Kings Road, I finally caught the KOBOX bug.

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I experienced a KOBOX class for the first time at the Nike Unlimited You event, yet I was left feeling frustrated (at myself). My lack of coordination combined with excess energy in my legs and the unnatural feel of leading with my left foot meant that I was basically running/jumping around on the spot and could not even throw a punch correctly. My hand-eye coordination has never been a strong point. Being naturally competitive, I already had the drive to better myself and so when a Nike friend suggested signing up to a KOBOX class, I couldn’t say no.

This time, my alarm was set for 5:50am on a Friday morning. We were booked in for an early ‘full body’ class with Ian. Despite spending the first five minutes waking up through an intense warm up, the loud music and energy in the room soon kept my eyes open. And as we progressed through the rounds, alternating between the wall and the bag, it suddenly became obvious what the hype was about. Enjoyable, sweaty and an opportunity to rinse every last ounce of energy through punching the bag. The second time attending KOBOX was a game changer; the movements felt more natural and I was finally getting the hang of the whole coordination thing!

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I’ve now been to KOBOX twice more and my love is only growing! For me, it’s a great opportunity to mix up my training and incorporate some strength based work, which quite often gets neglected when my daily training involves running miles on miles on miles. I also see it as a great social opportunity – the classes I’ve attended have been with friends and it’s actually great to have that mutual support and knowing that they are there every punch of the way! Additionally, it gives the perfect excuse to grab breakfast/brunch/lunch afterwards! With the good life eatery just round the corner, there’s no better way to refuel than with super charged paleo waffles or lean machine bowl.

At KOBOX, the trainers really look after you. I have only attended classes with Ian, however there are several other trainers and many options for the classes; targeting upper body, lower body, full body etc! From the moment you walk in and sign in at the desk, you’re provided with hand wraps (if it’s your first time), a towel (TRUST ME, you will need it) and boxing gloves. There are hundreds of lockers both in the communal area and in the changing rooms to leave your belongings and the changing facilities and toilets are kept super clean and fresh. There are six showers, with shampoo, conditioner and body wash provided (they know how to treat you well!). As well as big fresh clean towels, hair dryers, mirrors (full length woop), benches and body lotion! Additionally there is a KOBOX kitchen whereby you can pre-order a protein smoothie to be ready as soon as your session is over.

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Top tips for attending KOBOX:

1. Take in a bottle of water – water is available to buy at KOBOX for £2 and you’ll find you can definitely get more out of your session if you’re not dying for a drink after every round!

2. Eat breakfast beforehand, or at least have a strong coffee and a banana! Whilst fasted exercise has its benefits, I’ve found I can train so much harder and get a lot more out of the session if I’m adequately fuelled!

3. Try out a few different trainers and their classes until you find one that you love! Different people have different preferences when it comes to classes so don’t be afraid to try out a few!

4. Don’t forget your hand wraps! KOBOX have an amazing introductory offer whereby you can buy two classes for £25 with a pair of hand wraps included in the price! Just don’t forget the for your second class.

5. Be prepared to sweat, yes there will be times that you see a little water spray off the bag but that’s only a good thing – it just shows you’re working hard… Or that you’re a heavy sweater haha! Plus there’s showers available afterwards.

6. Go with friends – it makes it even more enjoyable and it’s nice to have someone by your side to push you that little extra!

7. Switch off, stay in the moment and pretend the bag is your worse enemy. You’ll surprise yourself how hard you can punch!

8. ALWAYS say thank-you to the trainer afterwards! These trainers have to carry pockets of energy through the whole day! A smile and a thank-you are the least you can offer (can you tell I’m northern yet?)

9. If you have he opportunity, stretch afterwards or later on in the day! DOMS are real. You will be waddling 24hours later and you’ll realise there are a lot more hidden muscles in your back and arms than you thought were there.

10. Finally, enjoy it! Work hard, play hard. If you’ve never done it before, try it out, you may find that boxing is your forte!

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Last of all, don’t forget to SWEAAAAAAT.

Lots of love, Sal🙂












Life behind the page

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Imagine an egg, soft-boiled to be exact. A nice brown shell, in-tact, smooth and perfect. An egg shell appears strong, yet it doesn’t take much to break. It’s a strange association to make but this is how I see people through social media platforms.
In this context, the egg shell is the social media platform; the way in which we portray our lives to others, perfect. I use that word again as that’s how it looks from the outside. But the real point is that it’s easy to forget about the rest; the inside of the egg, the layers of egg white and the yolk, all incased by the perfectly smooth shell. Anyway enough about eggs, but let’s just say, there is so much more to a person than their social media platforms indicate.

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My breakfast may look insane, I may have a brand new pair of Nike trainers and I may have just smashed a gym session at 6:30am in the morning. Instagram will tell you that, and that all happened, for sure. Yet the days where there are no breakfast posts; my porridge exploded in the microwave and looked messy. No posts about exercise? I was so shattered that I didn’t get up early, I stayed in bed and rested that day. No selfies or new trainers? I’m having a bad hair day or feel fluffy in my running kit. These are the things that easily get missed. I’m the first to admit, my life is not perfect, nor do I want it to be.

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For me, social media allows me to be creative, I enjoy taking photos, I enjoy cooking and eating out with friends and family and I enjoy running. Those are my interests, that’s what I choose to document, it’s the things I enjoy doing the most. Yet I also say the best moments are never documented. The little adventures, the runs and views which were too enjoyable to stop and capture. The spontaneous cafe trips and days out and the memories spent with the most special people in the most special places. I won’t even attempt to describe the value of these memories as they’re not the sort that can be documented or put into words.
Additionally, the long days at work followed by further meetings. The days of being poorly and spending all day cooped up inside. The days of feeling sad, lost and hopeless. And of course the occasional full on crying session. They all happen, but they’re not captured, they don’t need to be. Everyone has bad days, everyone has long days, everyone has their own personal struggles behind the life they portray on social media.

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And so here comes the ‘rant’ as such. It’s not aimed at anyone in particular, it’s just how I currently feel about the food/fitness community.
For me, Instagram particularly, is very fake at the moment. Gone are the days of keeping it real and instead I find myself obsessing over people’s ‘perfect’ feeds of food and fitness related posts. It’s like a competition; who can get the most followers, who can get the most recognition and who can get the most freebies from brands and companies… And with this comes giveaways, competitions, discount codes etc!
Don’t get me wrong, I have received products to share and promote on my Instagram page, but I’m pretty genuine when it comes down to it. I wouldn’t feature a product just for the sake of getting a freebie, which will then more likely sit in my food cupboard untouched for a year or so. I do love the idea of supporting up and coming brands and helping them spread their word and grow, and would encourage anyone to do so. However authenticity is key; brand name dropping on every post is tiring and boring (in my opinion).
Additionally the whole concept of bragging and attention seeking can be related to the fitness/exercise posts. Congrats, you worked out. Tell everyone about it. Post how hard you worked. Go for it. But please please please, let me encourage you to do it for yourself and not for the approval and attention from others. I guess this comes from knowing and spending time with athletes who train their bum off on a daily basis racking up 70/80/90 miles a week, every week. Yet there’s nothing to show of their sessions on social media as it’s often a daily grind and they’re doing it to strive to be the best they can be. Just because it’s not on social media, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
Finally, I guess this is just how I feel in regards to the foodie/fitness community at the moment; a lot of attention seeking and a lack of keeping it real as such. I can be guilty of it too; I guess we’re programmed to wanting to please others and celebrate our achievements but I think I’d rather accept the fact that my life is far from perfect and I like it that way.
Peace out,

How to eat well in London on a budget

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As if I haven’t mentioned it enough recently, most of you will know that I’ve recently moved to London. Leaving the Northern nest was a big step but so far – so good! I have an amazing, rewarding job, which involves working alongside the most inspirational, friendly people and I’m slowly but surely making new friends with anyone and everyone. I’ve been in London just over a week now and although the full-time work fatigue is still kicking in, each day gets easier and I feel more settled.

Anyway onto the topic of the blog post – coming from a household where we have blueberries on tap (literally) and a fridge full of M&S fresh food and organic vegetables, the word budget never really crossed my mind until now. My parents have been amazing – caring, supportive and provided me with everything and more to allow me to move to London and become independent. But now, it’s time to become responsible, independent and accept my current financial situation. And so I’ve been working out the best ways to save money and eat well on a budget without deprivation. I’ve collected a few key strategies below which are definitely worth considering.

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  1. Waitrose free coffee – YES, that’s right, FREE COFFEE. As anyone living in London will know, there is pretty much a Waitrose on every street. By registering for a Waitrose card on the website, you can take your card into store, get it scanned by a member of staff at the checkouts or reception and they will give you a paper cup to grab yourself a coffee with no charge. The coffee machine offers americano, cappuccino, latte and espresso with additional condiments of milk, soy milk, sweetener, sugar etc! And the coffee actually tastes pretty good. So save the coffee shops for special occasions and get your free coffee on a daily basis – probably saving £2.50+ each day!
  2. Avoid expensive ‘whole food’ shops or only shop here for select ingredients. Whilst most foodies dream of lunch from Wholefoods Market on a daily basis. Being brutally honest, these stores are likely to shred your bank account. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to do my weekly food shop in Planet Organic or Wholefoods Market but living on a budget doesn’t quite allow for this. Personally, the only products I buy from these stores is Skyr vanilla greek yogurt from Planet Organic as it’s unavailable in other supermarkets and the belgian chocolate hazelnut spread from the nut butter machines in Wholefoods Market as it’s worth the price inflation from Nutella (trust me on this one).
  3. Use the freezer – frozen vegetables and frozen meat are both cheaper than fresh! Alternatively buying meat in bulk and freezing it immediately will save you money too. Bread can also be frozen – I tend to have a whole pack of bagels in the freezer as well as Artisan bread which I buy fresh, cut into slices and freeze immediately! Take it out the night before to defrost and it tastes just as fresh as when bought if eaten the next day! This also prevents food waste as it’s hard to get through a whole loaf of bread or a pack of bagels on your own before they are past their best. Frozen vegetables are also very convenient – you can get mixed vegetables which mean you can get 2-3 of your 5-a-day in one serving.
  4. Fruit is EXPENSIVE. I’ve not touched any kind of berries since moving to London. If you need your daily fix of blueberries or strawberries then be sensible – ration them and make them last! Personally I’ve found bananas and kiwis are the cheapest fruit. Bananas are cheaper if you buy them loose rather than a bag of 5 or 7. And kiwis are also relatively cheap – you can pick up 6 or 7 for less than a pound in most supermarkets! Alternatively scoot round the supermarkets at the end of the day and pick up the reduced fruit, it may not last too long but it’s perfect for dessert or breakfast the next morning.
  5. Staple foods – Stock up on a few essentials like tins of beans (1 of your 5-a-day!), tinned pulses like chickpeas and lentils and cans of sweetcorn and chopped tomatoes. Tinned foods are great for bulking out meals or adding extra protein/fibre. Most tinned foods cost less than a pound and can provide for several meals. Additionally peanut butter – it’s cheap, energy dense and is the perfect topper for toast or porridge with banana! Eggs are also convenient for a cheap source of protein. Whilst smashed avocado on toasted Sourdough with poached eggs may be off the menu for a while, eggs themselves are versatile – they can be cooked in several ways, packed into lunches or eaten for a protein rich breakfast to keep you satisfied all morning.Processed with VSCO with f2 preset
  6. PREP like a PRO. Definitely stole this catchphrase from my mother, who probably stole this from some fitness guru but still, it’s an important message. Pre-prepare your lunches for the next few days or make double portions for dinner and save half for your lunch the next day! This will save your life and bank account! No more cheeky trips to Itsu for a £10 lunch. Instead roast a whole tin of sweet potatoes, add a portion of veg (peas/sweetcorn/carrots) and add a source of protein (eggs, chicken, tuna, tofu). If you can get into a routine of prepping a packed lunch the night before, you’ll save yourself time in the morning and money!
  7. Make eating out an occasion – save it for once or twice a week at most! Order tap water with your meal as it’s free and be careful to order too many sides as they soon add up with cost. If you have a slight cafe/restaurant obsession, then make a bucket list of places you’d like to visit and each week visit somewhere different! This will make eating out more special and you’ll soon be ticking off as many cafes/restaurants as you desire. 

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  8. Don’t stress – if you forget to pre-prepare your lunch or find you’re running late and have no time then picking up food in supermarkets can be quite cheap! Avoid sandwiches and salads as they are expensive but instead, buy a fresh bagel and a banana and keep a jar of peanut butter in your locker at work for a quick lunch or pick up a pack of pitta bread and a tub of houmous with some carrot sticks! There are many food combinations which you can cheaply put together to provide a quick, convenient lunch.
  9. Supermarket markdowns – get to know how your local supermarket works! M&S for example have an initial markdown in the morning between 9:30 and 11:00am then a second markdown at about 4:30 – 6:00pm. It’s ideal to grab some bargain priced food and freeze it or eat it for lunch/dinner that day!
  10. Check out your local market or greengrocers for fresh fruit and vegetables, quite often you can get them much cheaper than in supermarkets!
  11. Buy carbs in bulk such as brown rice and pasta – it might seem a little more at the time but it will last you much longer! And on this note, when shopping in supermarkets start looking at the price per kg or price per 100g as this will indicate what is good or not good for value.
  12. Finally, make friends and talk to people. A little smile or comment can make someone’s day and before you know it, you can get discounted lunch or free drinks with your meal! This one takes time and patience but if you do it right, you can get pretty lucky! 

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Buckwheat, Baobab and Banana Cookies with Raw Chocolate Chips

I call this experibaking… I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate baobab powder into some baking so after a little research, I threw together this recipe to make some healthy cookies.

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Aduna are currently working on a campaign to #makebaobabfamous and create sustainable income for 10million households in rural Africa. Ownership of trees and their produce is one of the few rights women have. Baobab fruits ripen in the dry season when most other crops are unable to grow and so empowering women to harvest and process their baobab crops provides a much needed source of income at this critical time.

Aduna have already helped to improve the quality of living and opportunities for numerous families in Africa, however, they would still like to reach out to more women and help them increase their income to provide food, education, healthcare and other basic needs for their families.

All they need to do is increase the demand for baobab powder. With the super fruit being a rich source of vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, you can enjoy the benefits of the powder whilst knowing you’re helping women and their families in Africa.



70g buckwheat flour

70g coconut oil

50g baobab powder

140g coconut sugar

1tsp bicarbonate soda

1tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

50g banana mashed

75g Rawr dark chocolate



  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180degrees. Cream together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, egg, vanilla extract and banana until you have a smooth creamy mixture.
  2. Combine the buckwheat flour, baobab powder and bicarbonate soda in a separate bowl and then carefully fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. The dough should be thick and slightly on the wet side.
  3. Next chop the chocolate into small chunk size pieces and fold this into the dough.
  4. Lightly grease a baking tray with a little coconut oil and dollop the mixture onto the tray. The cookies will expand when in the oven so be sure to leave a little room around each one.
  5. Bake in the oven for 10-12minutes or until they start to brown around the edges.

Diet & Weightloss

The title caught your eye right? You are interested in the topics of diet and weightloss? We live in a society that is obsessed with these two words. Have you ever picked up a womens magazine that doesn’t feature the words diet, weightless or exercise on it? Chances are slim – literally. Dieting has become a fashion statement; the novelty of starting a new diet is almost exciting as buying new clothes. As for losing weight, the majority of us would rather be a few kg lighter or more toned. We compare ourselves, the food we consume and the behaviour we display to our weight-related ‘goals’.

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“This chocolate muffin is not going to help me look good in a bikini”

“I didn’t exercise today, no wonder I’m fat”

This is all starting to sound rather pathetic isn’t it? Yet the majority of us can relate. It was only last week, whilst sat in a lecture related to nutrition that I realised just how distorted our views of dieting and weightloss really are. Furthermore, the messages imposed by food and drink manufacturers can often mislead our perceptions of health and diet. So here’s back to basics with some common misconceptions:

  1. Which is the best diet for losing weight? Weightloss is not so much influenced by the type of food you eat, the times at which you eat or the number of meals you eat in a day. More so, being vegan, vegetarian, pescetarian, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo etc etc does not result in weightloss. Weight management is related to energy balance – put simply, how much energy you take in, and how much energy you expend. To lose weight, a negative energy balance is required; energy intake needs to be less than energy expenditure. To gain weight; energy intake needs to be greater than energy expenditure and to maintain weight, intake and expenditure should be equal. So actually, you could probably gain weight by eating only fruit and vegetables (it’s given, you’d have to eat a hell of a lot, but it is possible). On the other hand, you could eat chocolate on a daily basis and still lose weight as long as your net energy intake is lower than your expenditure (that sounds more appealing, huh). There’s some food for thought.
  2. Skinny/detox tea? Pay £20 for a box of tea bags which magically makes you lose weight… People actually pay this money. 99% of the time, this ‘branded’ tea is just green tea. Yes green tea is good for you, but it won’t make you lose weight alone (see above point) and it doesn’t taste particularly nice anyway, so save your pennies and make yourself a good proper brew with milk or for the health benefits, spend a fraction of the price on some green tea. Same thing.
  3. Juice diets? Ridiculous, utterly. It won’t detox you body, you have a liver for that and it does an amazing job. You may lose weight but simply because juices are mostly water so your energy intake will be lower than expenditure, you will get similar results eating actual food (see point 1.). If you think it gives you more energy, try running a marathon on juice alone – you probably won’t get very far. And finally, your urine is going to be VERY expensive because your body will only absorb and use the vitamins and nutrients it requires, the rest will be excreted.
  4. Carbs make you fat? Wrong. Excess carbs will make you gain weight, but so will excess protein, fat, sugar, vegetables, chocolate etc etc. If you eat a balance and don’t eat food in excess, you will not gain weight (yes, it’s really that simple).
  5. Eating clean. With ‘clean’ meaning unprocessed foods in their natural state. The term eating clean is often linked with dieting and weightloss. Eating clean doesn’t instantly promote or prevent weightloss (see point 1.). More so, it’s usually a good way to fuel your body through the incorporation of food rich in vitamins and minerals and balanced with carbohydrates, fat and protein.


This post may seem brutal, or aggressive, but it’s not targeted at anybody individual and expresses my annoyance at fad diets more than anything. Like many, my perceptions of diet and weightloss have often been distorted by myths we’re lead to believe through reading and research online. But once you break the misconceptions down, it’s quite simple. Energy balance is key.

DISCLAIMER: This post is not related to health, happiness or wellbeing and weight. It’s simply looking at myths and misconceptions about dieting and weightloss, to which I’m not promoting or discouraging.

Back to basics.

First of all, I’m aware I didn’t even last a week posting recipes for ‘Veganuary’ however cooking and taking photos with a lack of daylight proved difficult and my recent lack of concentration didn’t bode well either.

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On a more positive note, I’ve taken a long hard look at my diet. I use the word diet sparingly – I don’t follow a specific diet for the purpose of losing weight or achieving a certain physique – I use it as a means for the food I eat. In the last few years, I have become quite passionate about healthy eating and superfood trends. Being a runner and training six days a week, eating is quite an important part of my daily regime. I’ve been a lot heavier than I am now, and I’ve also been a lot lighter until recently. But my goals are all running orientated and so food is just the fuel required to train hard and get the most out of my body.

Whilst I’ve never been 100% vegan, I agree with the ethos behind the vegan lifestyle and how animal products do not necessarily contribute positively to the environment. However after reading that one of the 2016 ‘top-listed’ super foods was black pudding, I started to think about my body and what I need to be eating to fuel my training to get the most out of myself – as a runner and for my general health and well-being. So I ditched the soya milk for semi-skimmed . I’ve upped my protein via recovery bars and LOTS of chocolate milk and I’ve started eating meat with most meals; both white and red. I also eat a couple of squares of dark chocolate or ice cream every evening, definitely influenced by Sophia Parvizi-Wayne, it’s definitely the way forward! I eat carbs with every meal and still eat whatever my mum bakes (cinnamon buns, flapjack, cake etc!).

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I wouldn’t say the changes are drastic and I’m still eating mostly healthy, not because I feel pressured to or have a weight/physique goal in mind but because I enjoy healthy foods and nourishing my body well. The changes have been very positive though – I have a lot more energy, I’m recovering after training a lot better and I’m feeling a lot healthier than before. I’ve gained a few kg, which I feel 100 times better for and on the whole I feel a lot more positive. I love cooking and coming up with new recipes and broadening my diet has enabled me to experiment with even more recipes.

As my mother pointed out, diet trends and super foods come and go and are recycled over the years. Whilst you’ll read in one article that red meat will give you cancer, you’ll read in another one how red meat is one of the richest sources of iron, which is important for athletes especially. Hence yesterday after a long morning run, I had my usual buckwheat pancakes with a side of black pudding and ketchup #irongains (I never thought the day would come that I would be eating black pudding!).

Additionally fats are to be embraced. Coconut oil – trending as one of the best cooking oils in 2015 and featuring widely in most new recipe/dieting books, yet some articles pin-point the high levels of saturated fat and hereby don’t recommend cooking or consuming it otherwise. The moral here is take what you read with a pinch of salt and don’t over think the health benefits of food. Fat, even the saturated kind can be used by the body as fuel. More importantly I tend to incorporate avocados, nut butter and eggs into my diet for essential fat and for healthy skin and hair!

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The majority of the population (sporting and non-sporting) require a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. But also a variety of each food type. It doesn’t require a qualified nutritionist to establish that. This is why I’ve decided to go back to basics; I eat when I’m hungry and no foods are restricted or limited. Your diet is not a status or a fashion trend, nobody cares if you’re vegan or if you eat meat. You have to listen to your body and nourish it as well as you can and in return you’ll have more energy, a stronger immune system and a better general wellbeing. But most importantly you’ll be happy and healthy.

Lots of love❤

Vegan and Non-Vegan Pancakes

Breakfast is possibly my favourite meal of the day and whilst most weekdays I tend to stick to porridge or weetabix as it’s quick and convenient, at the weekend or on days off, it’s nice to spend a little longer making pancakes. It’s taken me quite a lot of failed attempts to get this recipe right which is why the measurements are so specific. I actually use an egg when I make these pancakes as I find it binds better however I’m well aware this is not vegan and so I’ve tweaked the recipe to use milled flax seed if you’re wanting to make vegan pancakes.

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  • 40g oat flour
  • 5g xylitol or sweetener
  • 5g baking powder
  • 25g banana
  • 30ml almond milk
  • 1 egg (non-vegan) OR 1tbsp milled flax and 2tbsp water (vegan)
  • 1tsp coconut oil
  • Toppings: Maple syrup, banana, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, dessicated coconut, chia seeds, Greek yogurt (non-vegan), soya yogurt (vegan)



  1. Weigh out the oat flour, xylitol and baking powder and mix together in a jug.
  2. Mash the banana in a separate bowl, then add to the jug along with the almond milk and egg or flax seed and water.
  3. Using a whisk, mix all of the ingredients together until there are no lumps and everything is combined (alternatively, throw everything in a nutribullet for 20seconds)
  4. Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat.
  5. Now carefully pour the mixture into the pan to make 10cm pancakes. You should be able to make 3-4 at a time depending on the pan size. Cook each pancake for 1-2mins on each side.
  6. Once the pancakes are cooked, stack them up on a plate and top them with whatever you like!

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