Despite the fact that I’m a cook, I tend to reach for cheese, fruit or yoghurt at the end of a meal. I find desserts often too complicated, carb-rich and heavy on the stomach so I’ve tried to keep things quick, simple and nourishing here. And I’ve also decided not to cheat by using protein powder! Apologies, in advance, to the sugar police, too. As an occasional pudding-eater, I’m sticking to my ethos of ‘everything in moderation’.
First up, a step back in time with a traditional and rather indulgent crème caramel. Packed with milk and eggs, this dessert will provide you with the full spectrum of amino acids to help promote post-exercise muscle recovery - and put a smile on your face. You can try experimenting with non-dairy milk alternatives in this recipe if you like.
My go-to dessert when I’m strapped for time is to whizz up a bowl of this high-protein strawberry mousse. It’s full of vitamin C and fibre; both are great for helping to protect your immune system as well as muscle health.
Have you ever tried black beans in a brownie? Honestly, it’s a revelation. These flourless Black bean brownies are light, gooey and sweet, yet loaded with protein, B vitamins, minerals such as iron, potassium, folic acid and calcium, as well as fibre. Do you need any more excuses to tuck in? (They taste amazing with a scoop of the hazelnut butter ice cream, too.)
Gut-friendly and packed with protein and healthy fats, this Hazelnut butter and kefir ice cream can be prepared in advance. Treat yourself to a scoop after a heavy workout, add it to smoothies, iced coffee… the options are endless. Nutty deliciousness.
Crème Caramel ingredients
120g caster sugar 2 tbsps warm water 500ml milk 4 free-range eggs 30g soft brown sugar Seeds from 1 vanilla pod
1. Heat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 3. Arrange 6 warmed ramekins on a baking tray. Gently melt the caster sugar in a saucepan, stirring with a wooden spoon until it turns to caramel. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly stir in the water. Warning! It will splutter.
2. Stir the caramel for a few seconds until smooth and pour into the ramekins, coating the sides. Be quick or the caramel will harden. Gently heat the milk in a saucepan. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. When the milk is hot (not boiling), pour on to the egg mixture and whisk until blended.
3. Divide the mixture between the ramekins. Pour cold water into the baking tray to reach 2/3rds up the side of the ramekins. Transfer to the oven.
4. Bake for 25mins until golden but wobbly. Once cooled, run a knife round the ramekin, place a plate on top and turn out the caramel pudding.
Strawberry mousse ingredients
2 free-range egg whites 600g quark or Greek yoghurt (I use the TOTAL brand, as it has more protein than full fat) 200g fresh ripe strawberries 1 large very ripe banana 1-2 tsps runny honey (optional)
1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and place in a small bowl. Whisk with an electric or hand whisk until the whites double in size and form soft peaks.
2. Mash the banana into a purée with a fork. Wash the strawberries and remove the stalks. Mash into a purée with a fork, keeping a few to one side for decoration. Spoon the yoghurt or quark into a bowl. Stir in the banana and strawberries, mix until well combined.
3. Gently fold the egg white into the yoghurt mixture with a metal tablespoon, adding a spoonful at a time until all combined. Add honey as and if required. Spoon into four glasses and serve immediately, decorated with the extra strawberries.
Hazelnut & Kefir Ice Cream
Prep: 10mins + 30mins churn time or a few hours in the freezer
Hazelnut & Kefir Ice Cream ingredients
250ml natural kefir 150ml whipping cream 1 tbsp runny honey 2 tbsps crunchy hazelnut butter Lemon zest Handful dark chocolate chips or cacao nibs (optional)
1. Mix the kefir, cream and honey in a blender for 2mins. Stir in the nut butter, lemon zest and cacao nibs. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker. Churn until thick and smooth, then pour into a plastic container and freeze.
2. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, pour the mixture into a plastic container, cover and freeze for two hours, then remove and blend again until smooth and creamy. Return to the freezer and freeze again until required. The more times you repeat this process the better the end result will be.