Some of you might know that I absolutely love baking. It is one of my favourite things to do but unfortunately anorexia has taken it away from me as my mum was getting a bit frustrated when I used to bake all of the time but I wouldn’t eat any myself. I remember when I was in hospital, every Friday was baking day and I would make chocolate brownies and biscuits etc and I would give them to my family and all of the other patients and staff. It was like no one expected me to eat any of what I had created. None of the staff said anything so I just kept baking and giving it all away. But then when I came home I WANT to eat my baked goods so I stopped baking from fear of having to eat it because I have made a pact with myself if I bake then I MUST eat it. And then at the weekend I hadn’t baked in months so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to bake something and eat it. I made these apricot and walnut bars from Mary Berry and they are so delicious. They felt wasier for me because they have oats and wholemeal flour and walnuts in but they still have their fair share of ingredients which my eating disorder would make me cry and run from. So I thought I would share this recipe with you. And of course it is Mary Berry so it has GOT to be good right? 😉
Apricot and walnut sandwich bars
50g rolled oats
50g light muscovado sugar
40g chopped walnuts
200g wholemeal self raising flour OR plain wholemeal flour with 2tsp baking powder
175g butter, melted
175g dried apricots, chopped into small pieces
2tbsp caster sugar
grated rind of 1 lemon
What to do:
Pre heat your oven to 130 degrees (fan) or 150 degrees and then grease and line a 18cm square tin with baking parchment. Begin by making the apricot filling. Place the apricots, water, sugar and lemon rind into a small saucepan. cover and simmer gently until all of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the oat mixture.
Mix together the oats, flour, sugar and walnuts in a bowl. Pour in the melted butter and mix well.
Press half of the oat mixture into the tin and press down evenly. Spread the apricot mixture evenly on top and then top with the rest of the oat mixture evenly.
Bake in the oven for around 45 minutes. I got nine squares out of my mixture and when still hot cut gently through the mixture to score out nine squares and then leave to go completely cold before completely cutting the bars and lifting them out of the tin.
I wanted to share with you one of the most simplest recipes ever. It is my homemade hummus and I have to warn you that it doesn’t taste like shop bought hummus BUT it’s still yummy and I always like making things for several reasons the first being just because it is a big hobby of mine and it’s much more satisfying making your own meal than whipping out something that is premade!
1 tin chickpeas, drained
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
What to do:
Place all ingredients in a food processer or you can use a hand blender or just mash by hand. Blend until it has made a smooth puree and then tadah you are done!
Don’t freak out about the oil because olive oil is SO good for you. I am actually going to list all of the good things about fats because they are essential in the diet and people seem to be afraid of fats when they shouldn’t be because we need ALL nutrients to make up a BALANCED diet.
Why fats are so good for you and why you need them in your diet:
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body but when the body has ran out it will turn to the fat stores to find energy
Fats help maintain body temperature
They protect and cushion your organs and bodies tissue
Used to build new cells
Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluable vitamins which means without fat they cannot function properly
Essential for brain development and nerve function
They keep your hair, skin and nails beautiful and shiny, make sure your hair doesn’t fall out and isn’t all brittle and straw like. Protein helps with this as well
Another little thing I wanted to add to this post is that I have a bit of an announcement I guess urm I don’t know what you would call it. I have been thinking for a long while and I want to make a series of blog posts to do with anything mental health and anorexia recovery related. I have been in recovery for four years now and I have learnt A LOT over my time so as well as my recipes and my daily posts on this blog which I love doing so much once a week I will be doing posts on things so this week was why fats are good for you and I will also be doing things like my personal views on stopping counting calories, how to deal with friends/family who are on a diet, extreme hunger in recovery and so on. I want to be able to share my experiences with people and to help them. I would love it if you commented to say if you think this is a good idea and also if you have suggestions of posts I could do then I would love that so much. I have decided to call this series “the mental health project” because I think that’s a good all round general name for the sorts of topics I will be talking about.