Time for a treat?

Who says eating healthily means never being able to enjoy the occasional treat?

Certainly not Alison Harris, last Sunday’s guest on Girls Around Town – and June is with her all the way on that too…

Everybody needs a bit of a treat once in a while and if it’s a guilt-free one, then so much the better.

Next time you’re tempted to reach for a chocolate bar or a cake, give Alison’s protein balls a try – quick and easy to make, you can even pop them in the freezer which means they’re always to hand when you want to spoil yourself a little!

Alison's Protein Balls

  • Servings: Makes 18
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 100gms ground almonds
  • Approx 75gms raisins
  • 2 tbsps peanut buttter
  • 1 tbsp ground mixed seeds
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • Handful of berries, grapes or orange segments


  1. Blitz all the ingredients in a food processor, making sure the mixture is wet enough to stick together – you can add a little extra peanut or coconut oil if you wish.
  2. Shape into bite-sized balls and roll in dessicated coconut.
  3. Chill in the fridge for a couple of hours.
  4. Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freeze them if you want to.

Cathy’s Amaretto Almond Biscuits

Fancy a tea-time treat? How about these bite-sized Amaretto Almond Biscuits which the Girls Around Town and guest Cathy Bramley enjoyed on the show this morning?

Made by June using the recipe from Cathy’s new book The Lemon Tree Café, they’re easy to prepare, pretty to look at and simply delicious – and they’re gluten-free too…

If you don’t have any Amaretto, you can replace it with milk – or you could just use this as an excuse to go out and buy a bottle!

The paperback edition of The Lemon Tree Café will be published on Thursday 24 August and is available now for pre-order from The Bookcase in Lowdham.

Amaretto Almond Biscuits

  • Servings: Makes 25
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Cathy’s Amaretto Almond Biscuits

Makes 25 – Time 20 minutes


  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto (or substitute milk if you don’t have Amaretto)
  • 150gm ground almonds
  • 150gm caster sugar
  • 25 whole almonds


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 2000C (1800C fan oven / gas mark 6 / 4000F). Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper.
  2. Whisk the egg whites until frothy. Very gently, fold in 1/3 each of the ground almonds and sugar. Pour in the Amaretto (or milk), then add the remaining almonds and sugar.
  3. Take a teaspoon of the mixture and drop it onto the baking tray, using a second teaspoon to push it, leaving at least 3cms between each biscuit. Top each one with an almond.
  4. Bake for 10-12 minutes – they should be golden brown but still have some ‘give’ as they will crisp up as they cool.
  5. Leave on the tray to cool and store in an airtight tin.


What’s for afters?


You’ve supped the soup, scoffed the stew – now what’s for afters?

The third recipe from Lisa Holloway on Sunday’s show of course, because no meal is complete without a perfect pud!!

And the added bonus – minimal washing up afterwards because it’s a one-bowl cake…

Warm Ginger and Plum Cake

  • Servings: Serves 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 6 large or about 8 small  ripe plums, halved and stoned
  • 280g jar stem ginger in syrup
  • Handful of pecans or toasted flaked almonds
  • 114g self raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 114g soft butter
  • 114g muscavado sugar
  • 2 large or 3 small eggs


  1. Line a deep, loose-bottomed sponge tin with a non-stick cake tin liner and heat the oven to 325F/170C/Gas mark 3.
  2. Arrange the plums on the bottom of the cake liner, round sides up, then place the nuts in between the plums.
  3. Blitz the stem ginger in syrup until smooth, then add to all the cake ingredients in a bowl. With an electric whisk, beat well on high for about a minute until thoroughly blended – you don’t want this mixture too wet.
  4. Pour the cake mix over the plums and nuts, smooth the top and bake in the centre of the oven until  firm. You might need to cover with foil and leave a little longer in the oven if not fully cooked.
  5. Test the sponge with a skewer – when it comes out clean, it’s ready. Leave in the tin to cool slightly,
  6. Then tip out onto a cake stand so the top is a beautiful pattern of glossy plums with the nuts in between.
  7. Serve warm with ice cream, yogurt or thick double cream.