“For every person not drinking alcohol there seems to be another not eating sugar” – Brent Staker on FebFast
Flowers and chocolate.
It’s a simple way to keep your Valentine happy, but if you’re looking for something a little more thoughtful, Brisbane’s Brent Staker has a few suggestions. Replacing chocolate with something healthier is a great place to start.
Staker is participating in FebFast for the second year running and is enjoying a healthy February, which he hopes will launch him into a successful season on the footy field. He’s going without alcohol for the month, but has noticed many others are refraining from consuming sugar.
“For every person not drinking alcohol there seems to be another not eating sugar this year”, Staker says.
With that in mind, he’s provided a couple of easy to cook, sugar free recipes to impress that someone special this Valentine’s Day. He’s got a pancake recipe that’s perfect for breakfast in bed, and a pasta dish that even the most amateurish cook will be able to whip up.
Banana and Blueberry pancakes (discovered via thehealthychef.com)
Most people think of pancakes as a treat rather than a healthy meal, but there’s plenty of nutritional value in this recipe. Almonds are a great source of calcium, iron and magnesium, while bananas are packed with potassium and vitamins C and B6.
“It can be a dessert, but the good thing is you can also pass it off as breakfast,” Staker says.
Ingredients (Makes 6 pancakes):
100 g (1 cup) ground almonds
1 tablespoon ground linseed (flaxseed) or chia seed
1/2 teaspoon gluten free baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
250 g – 2 ripe bananas, smashed
2 free range eggs
125 g blueberries
1) Combine smashed banana and eggs.
2) Add baking powder, almond meal, linseed and cinnamon.
3) Fold in blueberries then rest for five minutes.
4) Heat a pan over a low heat and add a little olive oil.
5) Spoon pancake batter onto pan and flatten with the back of your spoon.
6) Cook slowly over a very low heat.
7) Flip over and finish cooking.
8) Serve and enjoy alone or with a little honey and natural yoghurt.
Pasta Alfredo (courtesy of rawfoodrecipes.com)
Pasta has forever been a staple in every footballer’s diet, and this recipe is a nice twist on a meal many players eat each week. The carbohydrates that help refuel athletes are still there, but this recipe also contains ingredients that add some extra nutritional value.
“It’s nice just being able to blend a few ingredients, cook some pasta, throw it all together and be done with it” – Brent Staker
The cherry tomatoes add some vitamin C, while cashews – despite being fairly high in calories – are packed with vitamins and minerals. Zucchini is low in calories and rich in vitamin A and antioxidants.
“It’s nice just being able to blend a few ingredients, cook some pasta, throw it all together and be done with it,” Staker says.
“It only takes a couple of minutes and you’re all set. You don’t have to be a great chef to pull this dish off.”
Three chopped zucchinis,
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Fresh basil, to taste
2.5 cups of cashews
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sea salt
1) Blend everything except pasta, basil and cherry tomatoes into a creamy sauce.
2) Add pasta, basil and cherry tomatoes, toss together and serve. For extra bite add some black pepper and/or chilli flakes.
Are you taking the FebFast challenge? Share your experiences with us in the comment box below.