Cherry Power Balls

Snacks probably make up half of my diet especially when I'm training seriously--I can't make it through more than 3-4 hours without eating something.  I make these balls mainly to serve as an early morning pre-workout snack.  When my sessions start at 6 am, I maximise sleep and getting up to make, eat and digest breakfast hours earlier is not something I'm willing to do.  I've tried nutrition bars but even that is more than I can stomach half an hour before a run/swim/bike ride.  These are the perfect compromise. 

I've made a few different varieties/flavours, but these are currently winning.  Cherry.  I'm sure you could add cacao nibs and they'd be a delicious chocolate cherry flavour--maybe by subbing a quarter cup of the pecans.  Each ball is basically half a Larabar, just enough to get me through till breakfast (especially if I've eaten a big enough dinner the night before) without sitting heavy in my stomach.  

3/4 c pecans
3/4 c almonds
1 c tightly packed dates
1/2 c dried bing cherries (try to find a variety without added sugar or oil)


  1. Pulse pecans and almonds in a food processor until chopped and crumbly, careful not to process for too long otherwise you'll end up with a nut butter.
  2. Add dates and cherries to processor and process until it begins to stick together. 
  3. Weigh table spoons of about 25g of the mixture and roll them between your hands into balls.
  4. Voila! They store well in an air tight container in the fridge. 

Hemp Protein Waffles


Waffles, waffles, waffles.  Waffles never featured highly for me growing up--they were a thing made by Donkey for Shrek and very American...  We'd have naleśniki (crepe-like pancakes), scrambled eggs with danish bacon (and maple syrup) and even french toast, but not waffles.  Every now and then, I remember, we (the three e's--never the parents) would buy McVities toaster waffles--high in sugar for sure, but not wholesome breakfast material.  I next came across waffles about four years ago; He grew up on eggos but transitioned to a healthful variety as an adult.  Healthy waffles, I couldn't believe it.  Turns out He was on to something.  So I finally bought a waffle iron about six months ago for $25 on amazon.  If nothing else, it's great fun; there have been many Saturday morning experiments.  This recipe is one of the better results.  

These waffles are full of protein, free of refined sugar and sufficiently stocked with good carbs (yes those exist) to fuel a long run or solid lifting session.  Like pancakes and french toast waffles also make for a great vehicle for all the toppings. 

Makes 4 waffles (serves 2)

2 bananas
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp oat flour
1/2 c hemp protein powder (such as this
dash of cinnamon

Optional Toppings
greek yogurt
pomegranate seeds
chopped nuts
goji berries
maple syrup
berry syrup (featured here)



  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Place first four ingredients (bananas, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup) in food processor and pulse until smooth. 
  3. Add remaining ingredients (baking powder, flour, protein powder and cinnamon) and continue pulse to combine. 
  4. Pour half the batter (if you have a 2 waffle waffle iron) into the waffle iron and cook per appliance instructions (usually until the waffle stops steaming). 
  5. Remove waffle when done and repeat with the remaining batter. 
  6. Top with whatever toppings your heart desires, eat and enjoy! 

Rolling, rolling, rolling

I love learning.  Learning a new skill or a new fact is one of my favourite pass times. Then comes progression, forward movement, getting better. That's when it becomes great. Tangible progress you can either see or feel gives me a real kick. When I'm training for an endurance event, the best bit isn't crossing the finish line it's that moment in training when things suddenly click. That tempo run you've been doing week on week feels comfortable, 12 miles becomes an easy run. You can feel the work you've put in coming into play. For the last two weeks we've been working on sushi. Tweaking the grains to get them sticky enough, working on our rolling,  becoming more creative--avocado on the outside, sprouts within. (Buying a new sharp knife) And, on Saturday night it came together. 

Making sushi is surprisingly easy once you get the hang of it. It doesn't take that long, most of the cook time is taken up waiting for the rice to cool.  Best of all it's a fun and healthy way to get creative and you get to see progress in your rolling skills. 

3/4 c short grain brown rice
1/8 c amaranth
1/8 c millet
2 tbsp sushi vinegar
1 tsp coconut sugar
3-4 sheets of sushi nori
1 fillet sushi grade salmon (or whatever fish you fancy)
1 avocado
1/3 English cucumber

Carrots, daikon, cooked sweet potato, Alfalfa sprouts, sesame seeds
Soy Sauce (or tamari)

Special tools--bamboo rolling mat


  1. Rinse the rice, amaranth and millet and cook in two cups of water using either a rice cooker or the steaming method. Once done transfer to a large metal mixing bowl. 
  2. Heat the vinegar and sugar in a small bowl till the sugar dissolves (I use the microwave). 
  3. Add vinegar mixture to the grains and mix well to combine. Transfer to the fridge to cool. 
  4. While the rice cools prepare your fillings. Cut the fish into long strips. Core the cucumber to remove the seeds and julienne. Julienne any other vegetables you wish to use--carrots, daikon, cooked sweet potato wouldall be good. Slice the avocado into thin slices. 
  5. Prepare your rolling station. Wrap your bamboo mat in cling film. Set out nori, fillings and a small bowl of water. 
  6. Lay one sheet of nori on the bamboo mat. With wet hands take 1/4 - 1/3 of the grain mix and spread it onto the nori leaving approximately 2 inches clean (grain-less) at the far edge.
  7. For rice outside
    • [for sesame seeds on the outside, sprinkle seeds over the rice now] Flip the nori over so the rice is down on the mat with the rice-less end of the nori towards you. 
    • Place fillings in a row along the edge closest to you. 
    • Roll tightly using the mat to pull over the top, as you reach the end moisten the nori to help it stick.
  8. For nori outside
    • Keep rice-less end of nori on the edge of the mat furthest away from you.
    • Lay fillings along the edge closest to you. 
    • Roll tightly using the mat. Moisten nori at the end furthest from you to help it stick.
  9. For avocado/fish on the outside
    • nce you have rolled a rice outside roll, move the roll to the middle of the mat. 
    • Lay strips of avocado and/or fish over the top. 
    • Pull the bamboo mat over the roll as if you were going to roll it again but, instead, just squeeze the roll firmly. 
  10. Move finished rolls to a cutting board. Wet a sharp knife and cut in half then either into sixths or eighths depending on how big your mouth is.

Serve with soy sauce, wasabi and ginger. Enjoy!

Vegan Oatmeal Cherry Tahini Cookies

Tahini, its wonderful and not just a base for hummus. It can be deliciously salty and savoury, a dressing for a salad or grain bowl, mixed with miso for a wonderful marinade. OR it can be sweet, a nut butter alternative, spread on toast with honey, a base for frosting (icing for those of you across the pond), you can add it to brownie batter.  The options are endless!  In this recipe I've used tahini to add a slight salty kick to counter balance the sweetness from the raisins. It works, trust. 

This is one of my favourite cookie recipes.  Gluten free, vegan, full of good healthy fats from the tahini, refined sugar free, super moist and delicious, and endlessly customisable. If you wanted an extra treat you can sub in some chocolate chips in place of the cherries/pumpkin seeds. The 1/4 c cherries can be subbed for more raisins (then they are oatmeal raisin cookies), I personally prefer the cherries because their tartness counterbalances the sweetness from the raisins in the batter and complements the tahini. 



1 c gluten-free rolled oats , divided
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1/2 c tahini
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 c raisins
1/4 c unsweetened dried cherries (if possible with no oil added)*
1/4 c pumpkin seeds*


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. 

  2. Soak the raisins in warm water for about 10 minutes, doesn't matter if its longer.  Drain and save 1/4 c of the raisin infused water (soaking liquid).

  3. Pulse 3/4 c of the oats in a blender or food processor, until finely ground and you've reached a flour like consistency (you just made oat flour!). Do not wash out the food processor/blender, this is important and if you did it you're just creating work for your self. 

  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients (oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt).  

  5. Blend the rehydrated-raisins and 1/4 c of the soaking liquid in the food processor/blender, blend until smooth. Add tahini and vanilla and continue to blend until creamy.

  6. Add raisin-tahini paste, cherries, pumpkin seeds r and remaining 1/4 c oats (still whole right--you only blended 3/4 c to flour, remember?) to the bowl of dry ingredients.  Stir until all of the oat flour is absorbed. 

  7. Drop heaping tsps of dough on to the baking sheets, spacing about 1 inch apart. Gently flatten each heap with the back of a spoon. Bake until the cookies are lightly browned on the bottom about 10 to 12 minutes.   

  8. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack and let them cool completely--seriously leave them to cool, they need to set a little.

These cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or they freeze remarkably well.  Don't travel with them in a zip lock bag--they will crumble. Believe me.

*As mentioned above you can mix up the mix ins. Keep them at 1/2 c total, any more than that and you begin to compromise the structural integrity of the cookies. You can use cherries, raisins, pumpkin seeds, cacao nibs, chocolate chips . . . 


Perfect French Toast

French toast! Perfect breakfast in bed. Proteins, carbs and a vehicle for toppings of all kinds. I usually make a berry syrup and then top with pomegranate seeds, pumpkin seeds and cacao nibs. Liquid + crunch to create a variety of textures.

I use gluten free bread, usually a cinnamon raisin one such as this (the favourite) or if I'm desperate this. Because I keep my bread in the freezer, the night before any french toast feasting I'll take four pieces out (two per person) and leave them in a cool oven to defrost and dry out. Dry is key, french toast was developed as a way to use up stale baguette, stale bread is better at soaking up the eggs and not falling apart.  I'm assuming that most people are collecting stale bread like my mother (it's a Polish thing; bread can never be wasted or thrown away, therefore stale bread becomes bread crumbs) and should therefore dry out their bread overnight.

The other key is re-soaking the bread in the egg mixture once you've browned one side--seriously, leads to optimal puffing-up and egginess.  


French Toast
4 pieces of bread, left to dry overnight in a cool oven
4 eggs
2 tbsp of unsweetened almond milk (or other plant based milk)
Dash of vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Berry Syrup
1 c frozen mixed berries (personal favourite is the very cherry blend from Trader Joe's)
juice of half a lemon
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or other liquid sweetener e.g. maple syrup)
1 tsp chia seeds

Other awesomeness
Slivered almonds
Pumpkin seeds
Pomegranate seeds
Unsweetened coconut chips
Cacoa nibs


  1. In a small saucepan combine the berries, lemon juice, water and molasses. Bring to a simmer and let them cook gently while you make the french toast. Keep an eye on it. 
  2. In a bowl whisk together the eggs, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Pour into a baking dish large enough to hold four pieces of bread--I sometimes use a brownie pan.  Put the bread into the egg mixture turning until saturated. 
  3. Heat and lightly grease a skillet or griddle (I use paper towel to rub just enough coconut oil on, you really don't need much). Transfer the eggy bread onto the pan and cook until browned on the bottom side, about three minutes.
  4. Once browned on one side transfer back to the egg mixture for a second bath, uncooked side down. Let it rest for about 30 seconds and then transfer back to the skillet to finish cooking. Transfer your perfectly puffed french toast to plates for serving. 
  5. The berry syrup should have cooked down to a compote-like consistency, take it off the heat and add the chia seeds to thicken it (optional). Spoon berry syrup over french toast and top with other awesomeness as desired.  

C.J.'s Muffins

I started trying to name these muffins by what's in them. Didn't work, it became buckwheat, almond, zucchini, pumpkin, carrot muffins. That title's just too long.  So C.J's muffins they are. These muffins are healthy, yet delicious. Packed with fibre, low in fat and sugar, they're satisfying--you won't eat them all in one sitting--and they freeze well (or keep in a zip lock bag in your fridge). Perfect snack. I'd take one to work sometimes for a pre run/workout snack and went through a phase of baking a batch every week/every other week for C.J. to take to school. Hence "C.J.'s muffins."


3/4 c buckwheat flour
1/4 c almond meal/flour
1/2 c oat flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each of nutmeg, ground cloves and ginger
1 finely grated courgette (zucchini)
1 finely grated carrot
1 c pumpkin puree
1 tbsp coconut oil (gently heated so it's liquid)
1/4 c agave/maple syrup* 
1/2 c unsweetened almond milk (or other plant based milk)
1 egg*
1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water*


  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and fill a standard muffin pan with liners. 
  2. Mix the flax seed meal with the water and let it stand for about 5 minutes, until gel like. 
  3. Whisk together the first six ingredients in a large mixing bowl.  In another mixing bowl, or measuring cup (like this), whisk together the pumpkin, coconut oil, agave, almond milk, egg and flax-gel until well combined. 
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well to combine.  Fold in the courgette and the carrot and then let the mixture rest for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Use a 1/4 c scoop to divide the mixture into the lined muffin pan. Bake for 20 minutes (give or take) until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean. 
  6. Enjoy! Great with a slather of greek yogurt or almond butter, or both...

Agave/maple syrup can be subbed for 1/3 c honey depending on what you have in your cupboard. To make these vegan, substitute the egg for an extra 1 tbsp flax meal + 3 tbsp water. If you're not vegan and don't have flax meal, sub it for an extra egg and skip step 2.