This is the eleventh year Flora has sponsored the Women’s Mini Marathon. To celebrate, food writer and mum of four Nessa Robins has devised several different recipes to help participants make their meals even more nutritious without compromising on taste in the run-up to race day.

Here are some of the delicious recipes Nessa has devised for you to try yourself:

1. Multi -Seeded Energy Bars

energy bars

Makes: 15 bars

  • 125 g caster sugar
  • 125g butter
  • 75g peanut butter
  • 2tbsps honey
  • 300g oats
  • 25g desiccated coconut
  • 25g sunflower seeds
  • 25g sesame seeds
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ fan 170C/ gas mark 5. Grease a swiss roll tin, 33cm x 22cm, with a little Flora buttery.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, over a low heat, melt the sugar, butter, peanut butter and honey together, stirring continuously, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is smooth. Take off the heat.
  3. Add the oats, desiccated coconut, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds to a large bowl. Combine well. Pour over the liquid mixture and mix well. 
  4. Transfer to the prepared tin and press down well, using the back of a spoon.
  5. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Allow to cool completely in the tray, before turning out onto a chopping board and cutting into bars.


2. Lemon Iced Blueberry Muffins

muffins

Makes: 17 muffins

  • 225g Light Butter
  • 225g caster sugar
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 275g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3 medium free-range eggs
  • 75g low fat Greek yogurt (we used 2% fat)
  • 100g blueberries

Topping 

  • 150g icing sugar
  • Juice from 1 lemon - 30mls 
  • 25g blueberries
  • Handful of mint leaves, optional
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/ fan 170C/ gas mark 5. Put cases into the muffin trays.
  2. Place the butter, sugar and lemon zest into a mixing bowl and cream together until the mixture is a pale yellow colour, which takes 2-3 minutes.
  3. In a separate bowl, sieve the flour and baking powder and combine well.
  4. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture, one at a time with a little flour- to prevent the mixture from curdling. Mix well after each addition.
  5. Add the remaining flour and mix together. Fold in the yogurt and blueberries.
  6. Divide the mixture between 15 muffin cases. Take a spoonful of the mixture, with a dessert spoon and scrape into the muffin case using a teaspoon. Don’t fill the case to the top.
  7. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 25-30 mins or until golden brown in colour. Cool on a wire tray.
  8. To make the topping, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and gradually add the lemon juice, until the mixture is smooth.
  9. When the muffins are completely cooled, top each one with a spoonful of icing and smooth using a palette knife. To decorate, top with a few fresh blueberries, and if you have them to hand, a mint leaf.


Cod & Cauliflower Gratin

Cod and Cauliflower

Serves 4-6

  • 50g Butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 50g plain flour
  • 600mls low fat milk, warm
  • 175g cheddar cheese, grated
  • A little salt and pepper
  • 100g spinach, roughly chopped 
  • 1 head of cauliflower, divided into florets 492g
  • 400g cod, boned and cut into bite-size pieces

To Serve

  • Steamed potatoes
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 200°C, 180°C fan, Gas mark 6.
  2. Firstly make the white sauce. Melt the butter in a medium sized saucepan, add the diced onion and sweat for about 10 minutes, until the onions are soft but not coloured.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, add the flour and stir for 2 minutes, to allow the flour to cook a little, but be careful that it doesn’t burn.
  4. Turn up the heat and slowly add the warmed milk. Stirring constantly, bring to the boil then turn down the heat and simmer for a minute. Season with a little salt and pepper and stir in the chopped spinach. Take off the heat but cover to keep warm.
  5. Steam the cauliflower florets for about 7 minutes.
  6. Place the diced cod on a baking dish and add the par-cooked cauliflower. 
  7. Pour over the white sauce, making sure to cover the fish and cauliflower well. Sprinkle over the cheese.
  8. Place in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes, until the cheese is golden and bubbling and the fish is cooked through.
  9. Serve straight away with cooked potatoes and a slice of lemon, for squeezing over the fish.