Whilst I was away, I had pre-ordered the new +Niomi Smart book, Eat Smart (which is out now for £20). This beautiful cookbook focuses on incorporating healthy vegan food into some absolutely delicious recipes. I myself am not vegan, but I am really interested in cooking new recipes, particularly if I know they're good for me and won't make me feeling too guilty about eating them afterwards (not that I ever am, I love food too much).

I've been trying some of the recipes recently and what's been really exciting about it is that none of these recipes are difficult, and a lot of them use ingredients that I would normally eat too. If anything, it's been a bit of an education in seeing food that I love become part of so many delicious meals.



So far, I've tried the Butternut Squash pizza with pesto, tomato and a little bit of mozzarella - as I said, I'm not actually vegan - and it was amazing. That's the thing with this book - you don't have to follow the recipes word for word in order to create something healthy; I still eat meat and cheese, so I might take the basis of the recipe from Eat Smart and then add in anything I would still eat that would work really nicely with it. This is one of the reasons I absolutely love to cook.

Today, I tried to make Niomi's chocolate superfood smoothie bowl. A lot of her recipes have banana in as it's very nutritious and acts as a really good thickening agent - but I really really hate banana. I really don't like the flavour at all. After previously sampling the recipe for the Strawberries and 'Cream' overnight oats that also contained banana - and to which I was pleasantly surprised about - I decided to do a little research and find some alternatives. One of which was one of my absolute favourites, avocado! *jumps for joy* I decided to swap the banana for avocado in Niomi's smoothie bowl recipe, as well as making another couple of add-ins and it really was delicious and filling! The only thing is, the consistency ended up more like a pudding than a smoothie - but this was really lovely, and it just depends how thick you'd prefer the mixture to be! My version of the recipe (built on Niomi's) is below:

Banana-free Healthy Chocolate Superfood Pudding
- 1 avocado, with the skin and stone removed, chopped into chunks
- 1 1/2 tbsp cacao powder or grated solid cacao
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
- 1 tbsp of maple syrup

1. Put all the ingredients into a blender and blend until the mixture is creamy and smooth - with no lumps!
2. Add extra almond milk if needed to get a preferred consistency.
3. Serve in a bowl and decorate with your preferred toppings!

I added extra chia seeds and sliced strawberries on top of mine; I'd recommend fresh fruit on top as the mixture can be quite rich - so strawberries or raspberries are perfect!




Make sure you check out Eat Smart - on Waterstones, Amazon.co.uk, WHSmith, Sainsburys, Asda etc; it's a really lovely book, presented so nicely and Niomi has really put together some delicious things - and that's coming from someone who loves her junk food!