Since starting this blog a couple of years ago I’ve joined several online groups and forums for food bloggers, and I must say they are some of the nicest, kindest, most supportive people I’ve ever known. And while we rarely (if ever) meet in person, we help each other out where we can, with support, words of experience and encouragement, and even gifts and cookies by post where appropriate!
So when a fellow food-blogger publishes a book, you’d be right in thinking that we’re all keen as mustard to have a look and try the recipes out. And I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Hungry Healthy Happy by Dannii Martin, who writes a fabulous blog of the same name.
Dannii has a remarkable story. She had become quite overweight and found that even though she was young, her size was starting to have negative impacts on her health. After becoming frustrated with the failure of fad diets and promised quick fixes, she instead began to make small changes to the way she eats, while gradually increasing her physical activity. This approach has enabled her – over a period of a few years – to continue to enjoy eating plenty of delicious food, while losing almost 100b and dropping down to a size 8! Unlike some celeb diet/weightloss bloggers, Dannii offers a real world, sensible approach, and isn’t afraid to share her before and after photos in her book. Reading her story and recipes is like taking advice from a successful friend or big sister – believable, genuine methods that clearly work.
Dannii’s book (and her blog) are most emphatically not about dieting or quick fixes, but rather about cooking and eating good, tasty, healthy food. She has cleverly adapted and adjusted recipes, to make them better for you while still being just as delicious as their less-healthy counterparts, and the book includes recipes for chocolate bars, banana bread, perfect burgers, burritos, curry, pizza… The recipes all look and sound absolutely amazing, and each one has nutritional information clearly displayed alongside so you can make informed choices about what you’re eating.
The photographs that accompany the recipes are all absolutely mouthwatering, and my main problem with the book was putting it down long enough to actually cook something! Of course I wanted to try out at least one of the recipes before writing this, and when I noticed that the gingernut biscuit recipe used only Pesach-friendly ingredients, that had to be the one I started with! I’m always looking for inspiration for Pesach, and these biscuits looked terrific. I only made one slight modification to the recipe – Dannii uses maple syrup, but I couldn’t remember if it’s available with a KforP hechsher, so I substituted honey.
The resulting biscuits were crisp, golden and fiercely gingery – delicious! I risked dunking one in a cup of tea, thinking it might fall apart, but it held together perfectly. The gingernuts had a spicy, slightly nutty, almost caramelised flavour that is just wonderful. I will definitely be making them again for Pesach!
If you’re looking to change the way you eat, and make the move to a healthier lifestyle in a sensible, sustainable way, Dannii’s book is a fabulous place to start. It is available from Amazon and all good bookshops.
- 70g unsalted cashew nuts
- 70g whole almonds
- 20g desiccated coconut
- Pinch sea salt
- 0.5 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (I used runny honey)
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a large, flat baking sheet with baking parchment.
- Place the cashews, almonds and coconut into a food processor and process to a fine, floury consistency. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl.
- Add the salt, baking powder, ground ginger, lemon juice and maple syrup to the bowl and mix well to form a dough.
- Using your hands, roll the mixture into 8 equal sized balls and place, evenly spaced, on the baking sheet.
- Using the palm of your hand, flatten each ball to a diameter or 7.5cm; this will ensure that your biscuits crisp up nicely.
- Transfer the biscuits to the oven and bake for 16 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before eating.
- My biscuits were quite well done after 16 minutes. Start checking after 13-14 minutes and remove from the oven when golden brown.
I was sent a copy of the book to review, but all opinions are my own. If you’d like to read what other people think of Dannii’s book too, try these:
Breakfast Burritos and Hungry, Healthy, Happy – a review by Janice at Farmersgirl Kitchen
Chocolate Hazelnut Spread from Hungry Healthy Happy by Dannii Martin by Sarah at From Plate to Pen
Healthier Chocolate Bars from Hungry Healthy Happy by Ciara at My Fussy Eater
Quinoa Bean Burgers from Hungry Healthy Happy Book by Sophie at Penne For Your Thoughts
Spiced Lentil Pancake Wraps and a Brace of Book Reviews by Choclette at Tin and Thyme