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Balanced eating with Gemma Atkinson

Balanced eating with Gemma Atkinson

Gemma Atkinson’s attitude to health and body image is refreshingly realistic: it’s all about getting and maintaining a healthy relationship with exercise and food. 

Green French Toast

“I love this savoury French toast. It’s so easy to make and is great for a weekend brunch. Sometimes I serve it with sliced banana and some soft cheese instead of tomatoes.”

Prep Time: 5-10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 4-6 Minutes
345kcals Per Serving

Ingredients: (serves 2)
2 medium free-range eggs
3 tbsp semi-skimmed milk, nut milk or soya milk
A handful of herbs, e.g. parsley, chives, basil, coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
2 spring onions (scallions), trimmed and finely chopped
2 medium slices of multi-seed or wholegrain bread
1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
200g/7oz cherry tomatoes on the vine
2 tbsp maple syrup or runny honey salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Beat the eggs and milk together in a shallow bowl. Stir in the herbs and spring onions (scallions), then season with salt and pepper.

2. Put the slices of bread into the beaten egg mixture and leave to soak for 2–3 minutes, turning them over halfway through, so all the beaten egg is absorbed.

3. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) set over a low–medium heat. When it’s really hot, carefully add the soaked bread and cook for 2–3 minutes until crisp and golden brown underneath. Turn them over and cook the other side.

4. Meanwhile, cook the tomatoes in an oiled griddle pan set over a medium–high heat until slightly softened (yet still holding their shape) and charred.

5. Serve the French toast, drizzled with the maple syrup or honey, topped with the tomatoes.

Sprinkle the French toast with paprika or drizzle it with your favourite hot sauce.

If you like it spicy, add some diced green chilli to the beaten eggs before soaking the bread.

Frozen Banana Choc Lollies

“These amazing lollies are a healthier version of a good old-fashioned choc ice and are a great way of using up leftover ripe bananas that nobody wants to eat! You will you will need eight wooden lolly sticks.”

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Freeze Time: 10-11 Hours
175kcals Per Serving

Ingredients: (makes 8)
4 ripe bananas
100g (4oz/generous ½ cup) dark (bittersweet) chocolate chips
½ tsp coconut oil
75g (3oz/scant ½cup) chopped unsalted nuts, e.g. walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, cashews

1. Peel the bananas and cut them in half horizontally (not lengthways). Insert a lolly stick into the sliced ends and place them side by side on a baking tray (cookie sheet) lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 10 hours.

2. When you’re ready to make the lollies, melt the chocolate chips and coconut oil in the microwave on medium heat in 20-second bursts or in a heatproof bowl suspended over a pan of gently simmering water. When they are melted and glossy, remove from the heat immediately.

3. Holding the end of the stick, dip a frozen banana into the melted chocolate and then roll it in the chopped nuts. Repeat with the remaining bananas and place them back on the lined tray. Return to the freezer for at least 30 minutes until the chocolate is set. They will keep in the freezer for up to 1 week.

Try toasting the whole nuts in a dry frying pan (skillet) for 2 minutes to bring out their aroma and flavour before cooling and chopping. Delicious!

Gemma Atkinson’s new book, The Ultimate Body Plan, is a 12-week nutrition and exercise plan which, she promises, is not a quick-fix but more of a “lifestyle change – something you’ll learn to fit into your daily routine that’ll overhaul things long-term”. This is not about being fit ‘for’ something – it’s about building a healthy, balanced relationship with mind, body and food. What’s more, it’s eminently do-able (even for those with hectic schedules) and the recipes are delicious and healthy. Here’s a taster: the perfect way to start the day, and a healthy snack (featuring chocolate – yes, really!) the whole family will love.

The Ultimate Body Plan by Gemma Atkinson (Harper Collins, £16.99); @glouiseatkinson; @harpercollinsuk


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