B Energised!

Barbara Wilson
Nutritionist

Feeling tired or lethargic? Instead of camping out on the sofa with a supply of comfort food, B energised! B vitamins are needed to release energy from the food we eat and a shortage can leave us feeling a little run down.

So take a healthy trip to the larder and stock up! B vitamins are found in a whole range of foods – leafy, green vegetables, beans, bananas, wholegrain foods, orange juice, fortified breakfast and meat. These recipes all contain lots of B vitamins, to help boost your energy levels.

Quick Chicken Liver Pate
This quick pate can be made in advance, frozen and served later as a starter with toast triangles and Cumberland sauce or as canapes on crostini.

Place 4 tbs dry sherry and 4tbs water into a small saucepan, along with a bouquet garni and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, simmer until the volume has reduced by half and then set aside. Heat ½ tbs olive oil in a non-stick pan and gently cook 500g cleaned chicken livers for 2-3 minutes.

Add a very finely diced onion and a crushed clove of garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in a small tub of natural, low fat cottage cheese, a tbs of tomato puree, the sherry, without the flavourings, and freshly ground black pepper. Puree using a blender or by pushing through a sieve. Spoon into individual ramekins and serve.

Alternatively, cover with greaseproof paper, pop into a freezer bag and freeze. Remove from the freezer at least 3 hours before serving and allow to defrost at room temperature.

Makes 8 servings.
Nutritional information: 120 calories and 5g fat per serving. Each serving is also packed with vitamin B12, has twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of folate for adults and the RDA of riboflavin and vitamin B6.

Tuscan Bean Soup
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large saucepan, add 2 crushed cloves of garlic, a chopped onion, 2 finely sliced leeks, 2 diced carrots and 2 diced celery stalks. Cover and sweat over a low heat for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are soft, stirring occasionally.

Add a tbs tomato puree, a 400g tin of chickpeas, a 400g tin of barlotti beans (both drained and rinsed) and 750ml vegetable stock. Simmer for 10 minutes. Puree a quarter of the soup in a liquidizer and return to the saucepan, along with a 225g bag of baby spinach. Bring back to the boil and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Serve with crusty bread.

Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional information: 310 calories and 7g fat per serving, more than the average RDA of folate and significant amounts of riboflavin and vitamin B6.

Banana Cornflake Cookies
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C and spray 2 baking trays with cooking spray or line with greaseproof paper. Beat together 250g polyunsaturated margarine, 100g demerara sugar and 100g caster sugar until fluffy and light in colour. Lightly beat 2 eggs plus an egg white and gradually add to the margarine and sugar, mixing well after each addition.

Stir in 2 medium-sized mashed bananas and then 375g plain flour and a tsp bicarbonate of soda – beat well until all the ingredients are combined. Lastly stir in 40g cornflakes. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture onto the baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes until golden.

Makes 30 servings.
Nutritional information: 145 calories and 7g fat per serving, along with lots of vitamin B12.

Start a diet plan at tescodiets.com

Thanks to tescodiets.com who have provided this article.