Thursday, 30 May 2013

Meridian Malt Loaf

First attempt at home-made malt loaf

Firstly, thanks to Meridian for sending me lots of tasty products to try. I’ve been a fan of their peanut butter (with no added sugar or salt!) for a while so was keen to test out other products in their range.

This malt loaf recipe is adapted from one I found online and includes Meridian Barley Malt Extract. Barley malt extract is a natural sweetener and is found in healthy muesli options such as the ‘no added sugar’ version of Alpen. This recipe does use extra sugar, but there’s no added fat and I used wholemeal flour instead of white flour so overall, it’s pretty healthy.

175g    Meridian Barley Malt Extract
85g      dark muscovado sugar
300g    mixed dried fruit
150ml  tea
2         eggs
250g    plain wholemeal flour
1 tsp    baking powder
½ tsp   bicarbonate of soda

This recipe is really simple: preheat the oven to 130°C; mix together all the ingredients in the order above; pour into a lined loaf tin; bake for 50mins. The malt loaf tastes good by itself or with a bit of jam on it. 

Monday, 20 May 2013

My Moroccan Adventure

Well that was an experience and not one I’d like to repeat in the near future.
On Thursday I travelled to Tangier, Morocco to compete in the Larache ITU Sprint Triathlon African Cup on Saturday my first international triathlon. The general theme of the weekend was waiting: waiting for my transfer to the hotel (2.5 hours); waiting for my bike (12 hours); waiting for accreditation (1 hour); waiting for race briefing (1 hour); waiting for race start (1.5 hours); waiting for my bag (30 mins); waiting for my transfer to the airport (50 mins) and finally, waiting for my flight home (6 hours). It seems the Moroccan minute is quite different to a UK minute.

Anyhow, eventually my bike did turn up, at 23.15 the night before the race. And when the race finally started, it was a great course- nice warm sea to swim in, a few waves, hilly bike and hilly run. I came 11th out of 16 finishers. I was disappointed with my result but it wasn’t a complete disaster, I learnt a lot that I’ll take into future races. Other positives of the trip were: a cafe selling ideal pre-race pasta; friendly locals (sometimes a bit too friendly); and a bit of sunshine (unfortunate tan lines to prove it)! 

Three weeks now until my next race, Blenheim Triathlon, on the 9th June. It was one of my favourite triathlons last year, so I'm looking forward to doing it again.