Peanut butter and Popcorn Chocolate Bites

Cooking, Food, Health, Nutrition, YUM

Peanut butter and Popcorn Chocolate Bites
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1 cup of cocoa butter
3 tbsp of cacao powder
1/4  cup of sweetener of your choice (I used coconut nectar but maple syrup, raw honey or coconut sugar will do)
½ a cup of peanut butter
1 cup of cooked popcorn

Melt on a low heat the cocoa butter… adding in the cacao powder and sweetener as the butter melts. Continuously stirring, ensure it doesn’t start boiling. Place peanut butter and cooked popcorn into muffin tins lined with baking paper, greased with coconut oil or cupcake patty pans. Then once the chocolate is fully melted and evenly stirred, pour chocolate over each cupcake holder (over the peanut butter and popcorn) until at desired size. Place in freezer for 1-2 hours. Remove from freezer and store in fridge once set. SO YUMMY!

A healthy Tim Tam

Cooking, Food, YUM

Not that long ago it was the 50th anniversary for Tim Tam… Before I discovered my path to wholesome and holistic, conscious living I wouldn’t have hesitated to sit down with a cuppa and a couple of tim tams but if you turn the packet over and read the ingredients you’ll quickly learn why I wanted to create an alternative.

Just as delicious but with out the guilt. Gluten free, dairy free, vegan and refined sugar free… HEAVEN. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

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RECIPE:
Biscuit layer

•150 g raw nuts (I used Brazil nuts and almonds)

•3 tbsp cocao powder

•75 g dates

•2 tbsp coconut oil

•2 tbsp coconut nectar

+ Blend until combined but so the nuts are still quite chunky.

Ganache layer

•1 cup of coconut cream or plain @coyo_is_coconuts yogurt

•1/2 a pack of plain @lovingearth dark chocolate

+ Melt on a low heat in sauce pan and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and mixed through the coconut cream or yogurt

+ Remove from the heat and place in the fridge

+ Line a baking tray with baking paper and make tim tam shapes out of the biscuit mix with your hand and place on the tray

+Remove ganache layer and give it a good stir or a quick wizz in the blender to make it fluffy and put a thin layer on top of the biscuit layer

+Place into freezer

Chocolate coat

•1 cup of cocoa butter

•2 tbsp of cocoa powder

•2 tbsp of coconut nectar

+ Put all ingredients into a saucepan and cook on a very low heat, continuously stirring and combing as it melts

+Once fully melted remove from heat and let cool

+Remove biscuits from freezer and dip into the chocolate, completely covering the entire biscuit

+Place the biscuits into the fridge to set and there you go… A healthy, conscious, delicious and guilt free alternative to a tim tam.

Why do we eat?

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I love food! I love the smell, the taste, its appearance… but most of all I love the way food brings together families, friends and loved ones. Because of todays busy society, its often we forget to be present whilst eating. How many times a day do you think you eat completely unconsciously? Simply put I have a deep belief in the importance of sitting down, being present, enjoying, sharing and LOVING your food. It’s something that I’m personally trying to work on as I’ve noticed eating has become something that I just do rather than experience.

It has become more common amongst society to eat ‘on the go’ or to be doing something whilst eating e.g. reading, scanning through social media feeds, driving, walking, talking on the phone. It’s like our eating time has become our ‘eat and get things done’ time.

To explain where I’m going with this I think it’s important to go back to the basic question of which I believe a lot of people have forgotten the answer to, that is… why do we eat? In my opinion, food is for survival, enjoyment, health and wellbeing. Really thinking about food, what it is to you and the value you have in eating and sharing a meal can be an amazing way of re connecting to what you are consuming and therefore the effect it has on your body and wellbeing.

Taking it back to the simple rules of a family dinner…

You may or may not be familiar with these but these are the rules I was surrounded with in my own and my friends homes growing up.

1. Everyone one must sit around the dinner table

2. The table must be set

3. Everyone must help contribute to the meal

4. No phones at the dinner table

5. TV must be switched off

6. Gratitude and appreciation must be given to everyone who contributed to the meal.

These rule basically go back to simply being present, appreciative and respectful at the dinner table and therefore enjoying each and every mouthful with your loved ones.

To me rule one represents the enjoyment, celebration and unity food creates in society. Food tastes SO much better when cooked by a loved one, with a loved one or eaten and enjoyed alongside a loved one. Rule two represents how setting the table tells your body and mind that you’re about to eat and therefore reminding yourself to be present. Rule three again reconnects us to sharing a meal, putting love into the meal as well as helping to unite as a family or a group. Rules four and five are the teenagers worst nightmare, but again take it back to being respectful to your loved ones, sharing a meal, creating engagement in the conversations at the table and spending quality time together. Rule 6 to me is a HUGE deal. This is in no way a religious thing more so just paying respect to where your food came from, who prepared it, farmed it and paid for it. What it is that your eating and the nutritional goodness and benefits that it will serve your body and mind.

Chew your food, smell your food, observe your food, taste the different ingredients in your food… completely finish and swallow one mouthful before you begin the next, feel and observe the different textures and flavors as you eat. I can guarantee physically and mentally you will feel SO much better and food will become a heck of a lot more enjoyable.

 

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CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

Clean Creations, Cooking, Fish out of the water, Food, Nutrition, Vegan, YUM

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE CUPS

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These scrumptious little choccy cups were another experiment as I had left over soaked cashews from the berry and white chocolate cheesecake I made a few days back now. I basically just threw in things with out accurately measuring so be wary of that when you’re re creating them as my measurements may be a little off but trust your instinct to find the right consistenciesand taste as you go.

They are SO yummy with some coconut yogurt and are the perfect sweet treat after dinner. Enjoy!
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Base
1 ½ cups goji berries
½ cup of almonds
½ cup of hazelnuts
1 tbsp of coconut butter

Blend all ingredients together. I used extremely moist goji berries so aim to get them if you can and if the mixture doesn’t seem to be sticking together well enough add in a few medjool dates or some extra gojis. Place into a cup cake tin and cover the bottoms evenly and flatten them out.

1 ½ cup of soaked raw cashews
¾ cup of coconut cream (or coconut milk)
¼ cup of desiccated coconut
3 heaped tsp of raw cocoa powder
1 tbsp of creamed coconut
½ a cup of a sweetner (maple syrup, honey, agave, coconut necter)

Blend all ingredients together until a smooth, fluffy consistency is formed. Pour into the pre prepared cup cake tin bases smooth out the top. Put into the freezer for 2-3 hours to set, then keep in the fridge covered for 2-4 days.

Mint and beetroot quinoa

Food, Health, Nutrition, YUM
Mint and beetroot quinoa salad
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This salad is such a simple yet delicious recipe that you can store in your fridge and nibble on throughout the week. It is such a delicious, healthy and vibrant meal I’m sure it will leave you feeling satisfied and with a smiling stomach.
Not only is this salad delicious but it is super charged with some of my favourite super foods. Beetroot is known to be great for boosting stamina and making your muscles work harder. It is full of goodies including magnesium, iron, potassium, vitamins A, B6 and C and folic acid. Quinoa is one of my favourite foods. It’s a great alternative to rice and has the highest nutritional profile out of all the whole grains. It’s an extremely high energy grain and has been grown and consumed for about 8000 years. It contains all 8 amino acids to make it a complete protein, it is high in B vitamins, iron, zinc, potassium, calcium + vitamin E.Mint promotes digestion, soothes the stomach in cases of indigestion or inflammation and is even known to have very positive effects on alertness, retention and cognitive function. So now you can eat this meal and while enjoying the flavours, enjoy the fact in knowing how amazing all these ingredients are for you!
Recipe + Method
1 beetroot peeled and slice into wedges
1 apple sliced
½ and onion peeled and sliced into quarters
1 handful of mint
Blend the above ingredients in a food processor until finely chopped and combined. Set aside
1 whole avo diced
1 cup of sliced greens (spinach, rocket, lettuce, kale)
1 cup of quinoa

2 cups of water
Rinse quinoa then place in a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and stir occasionally. Remove from heat once the balls have become clear and are no longer crunchy (should take around 15 minutes). Place the quinoa into a large bowl and stir in beetroot mix. Add in the sliced greens and avo and mix.
1 cup of mini tomatoes
1 dessertspoon of coconut butter
salt and pepper
Melt coconut butter in pan and place tomatoes in over a medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook tomatoes for around 7 minutes until slightly cooked. Remove from heat and place on top of the salad. Halve the tomatoes if you prefer.
Squeeze a wedge of lemon over the salad, mix and serve with a good quality goats cheese. YUM!
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Coconut + banana clean sago pudding: Recipe

A bit of fun!, Clean Creations, Cooking, Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Inspiration, Nutrition, Surfing, Training, YUM

I have intense cravings for sweets after dinner, particularly of the chocolate variety. Some nights I can push through it with a glass of water and a distraction but other nights, I just want to eat a whole block of Cadbury coconut chocolate. Considering my aspirations for my health and training and my allergies to dairy… it’s best on these nights for me to find an alternative to satisfy those cravings. So here was tonights sweet satisfier. Completely clean and 100% my favourite dessert.

Clean coconut + banana sago pudding: Recipe
Ingredients~
Sago:
3/4 cup of uncooked sago
2 cups of coconut milk
1 cup of cold water
2 tsp of cinnamon
2 tsp of vanilla essence
1 sliced banana
Topping:
1 cup of mixed berries (fresh or frozen)
Pulp of 6 passion fruits
1/4 cup of water
2 tsp of honey

Method~
– Combine sago, coconut milk, water and cinnamon in a saucepan and stand for 30 minutes to soak.
 Meanwhile, put passionfruit, berries, honey and water on a low heat on the saucepan and simmer for around 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat when smooth and cooked through, cool completely.
– 
Put sago mix onto stove on a medium heat until boiling, stirring occasionally. Then turn heat down to low and add in banana and vanilla essence.
– Stir through banana and vanilla essence and then allow to cook on low heat until the sago balls turn clear, stirring every 5-8 minutes (should take up to 30 minutes). Add in some extra cool water if the sago seems like it’s lacking moisture.
– Remove from heat and serve with passionfruit and berry sauce and any type of fruit. Desiccated coconut on top also is a delicious addition to make it a little more coconutty. I added goji berries because of their high content of antioxidants and amino acids and then a couple of slice of kiwi fruit to go with the tang of the passionfruit sauce.
Hope you love it as much as I do.


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Recipe feature by Theresa Cutter: Organic Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

A bit of fun!, Family, Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Inspiration, Nutrition, Respected Humans, Training, YUM

I made these meatballs for my boyfriend and my dad the other night… they were absolutely delicious, pretty simple and very healthy. For those of you who haven’t heard of Theresa Cutter, she is my angel! Also known as ‘The Healthy Chef’, Theresa’s recipes are fresh, easy, healthy and always a crowd pleaser with the family and friends. I’ve posted some of her other recipes before but if you haven’t checked out her website and you’re in to healthy cooking you MUST have a look as on each recipe she gives you an over view of the benefits and the nutritional value of the foods you are cooking. In this recipe, I have basically just copy and pasted to give you an example of the way she communicates her creations.
See Theresa’s website here:
http://www.thehealthychef.com


Organic Meatballs in Tomato Sauce

WHY IT’S GOOD:

These meatballs contain all the essential nutrients such as quality protein and antioxidants needed to build muscle, fight disease and support a healthy body.  When using beef mince, I like to use lean Pasture (Grass) Fed beef and make the mince myself.  Grass fed beef is definitely the healthy option, its has four times more Vitamin E than grain Fed beef, it has high levels of Omega 3 fats (good fats) which will protect the heart and nourish the brain. Lean beef is also high in iron and protein to help keep you full, repair muscle and for sustained energy.  Spinach is a great source of folate, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, vitamins A, K and B needed for supporting the immune system, oxidation and for bone health. Tomatoes are high in lycopene, especially cooked tomatoes, which can provides protection against cancer.  They are also a great source of potassium that has been shown to lower high blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Serves 6

500 g lean grass fed beef (minced)
125 g ricotta cheese, drained (use deli style ricotta which is firmer)
200g baby spinach (cooked in a little olive oil and lemon, liquid drained)
½  cup fresh chopped parsley
1 organic / free range egg
pinch of nutmeg
sea salt and pepper to taste
4 cups Napolitana fresh tomato sauce

Combine beef, ricotta, spinach, ½ cup parsley, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Shape into large balls and coat in a little olive oil then place in a deep tray lined with greaseproof paper. Do not squish together and make sure there is enough room around the meatballs.
Bake meatballs for 10 minutes, then add  napolitana half way up the pan. bake for a further 20  minutes until sauce is bubbling.
Serve sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley a little grated parmesan and green vegetable spaghetti.

TO MAKE GREEN VEGETABLE SPAGHETTI:

1 leek – cut into thin strips
6  zucchini, cut into spaghetti on a mandonlin
black pepper + a squeeze of lemon

Cook the leek in a pan over medium heat with 1 tsp olive or grape seed oil.
Add the zucchini and toss through for a few seconds until warm.
Season with a little lemon and black pepper.
Divide between serving plates and top with the meatballs.
Enjoy.

BASIC TOMATO SAUCE

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 chopped fresh chilli, seeded (optional) if you want a little heat
800 g chopped peeled tomato or pureed fresh roma tomato
small handful (10)  basil leaves shredded
1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate
1/4 tsp cinnamon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

NB: add 1 tablespoon tomato paste for a richer flavor.

Saute onion for 5 minutes over a medium heat until golden.
Add the rest of the ingredients except for the basil and simmer over a low heat for 20 minutes or until the sauce is rich and thickened.  The longer the cooking time the richer the sauce will be. Add the fresh basil last and use sauce as required. Season to taste and enjoy.

Protein: 25 g
Carbs: 4.9 g
Fat: 8.5 g
Calories: 210

I hope you give this one a try, seems like a lot of effort but it’s really not too bad and it’s worth it in the end. Enjoy!Image

Banana bread by Teresa Cutter- The Healthy Chef

Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Inspiration, Nutrition, YUM

Hands down the most delicious and best textured banana cake I’ve tasted. Best part is it’s just about entirely clean, meaning its sugar free, dairy free, gluten free, yet tastes better than most banana cakes I’ve tried before.

My mum put me onto “The Healthy Chef”. Her website is full of recipes that taste amazing and are full of fresh and energizing meals and snacks for good health. Better yet, on each recipe she does a write up on the benefits of the foods she’s used in her cooking and why they are good for you. Definitely worth looking at her website, it’s one of the best I’m yet to come accross.

http://www.thehealthychef.com

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Makes 1 loaf

300 g smashed ripe banana
3 free range / organic eggs
60 g honey or organic maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
60 g cold pressed olive oil or macadamia nut oil
half teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2  tsp baking soda ( bicarb soda) + 1 tbsp lemon juice
200 g ( 2 cups ) almond meal
25 g (1/4 cup)  ground flaxseed (linseed)

Preheat your oven to 160 C.

Combine smashed banana, honey, oil, cinnamon, vanilla, eggs, bicarb and lemon. ( the lemon activates the bicarb). I normally do this step
in my trusty vitamix and blend up all the base ingredients like a smoothie, then pour into a mixing bowl to finish off the banana bread batter.
Add the almond meal and flaxseed and mix well.
Lightly oil one loaf tin and then coat liberally with extra almond meal – this will prevent the cake from sticking.
Spoon batter into the tin and bake for  45  minutes to 1 hour ( a skewer inserted into the centre should come out dry).
Cover the top with foil if over-browning.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool before turning out the loaf.
Makes 1 loaf serves 12.
Serve warm or at room temperature by itself or with a little ricotta and honey.
keeps in the fridge, covered for up to 1 week.

NOTES: Sometimes I love to decorate the top of my banana bread before baking with a handful of chopped walnuts and a lightly sprinkle of cinnamon that forms a delicious and crunchy streusel topping after it’s baked.

Protein: 6.1 g
Carbs: 10g
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated: 1.7 g
Kilojoules: 828
Calories: 193

Gluten-free raspberry almond muffins

Food, Health, Nutrition

A new recipe I just came accross that I cannot wait to try once I’m back in Aus 🙂

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Gluten-Free Raspberry Almond Muffins
Makes 12 large muffins  (Dairy-Free | Sugar-Free)
2 cups of almond meal
1 3/4 cups of oat flour
1/4 cup of tapioca flour
1 Tablespoon of baking powder
1 Tablespoon of coconut oil
2  teaspoons of chia seeds
2 eggs (or flax gel)
1 cup of unsweetened almond milk
3 frozen bananas, thawed and mashed
3/4 cup of frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
pinch of salt
1.      Preheat oven to 375 F and line a muffin pan with twelve paper liners.
2.      In a large mixing bowl, combine oat flour, almond meal, tapioca flour, baking powder, cinamon, chia seeds and salt.
3.      In another medium mixing bowl, whisk 2 eggs together or pour in prepared flax gel, and then add in almond milk and coconut oil.
4.      Combine wet mix with dry mix, and stir well.
5.      Finally, add in the frozen raspberries.
6.      Divide the muffin batter into the twelve muffin cups and place in oven.
7.      Bake for 28-30 minutes. Check center of muffins with a butter knife to make sure they come out clean. If need be, bake for another 5 minutes.
8.      Allow to cool before serving and enjoy a hearty breakfast!

Seaweed and quinoa san choy bow

Fish out of the water, Food, Health, Nutrition, Training

While we were in France, we stayed in a beautiful little self contained apartment on the beach at Hossegor. Instead of eating out most nights like we usually do while were away we cooked, as I’m on a special diet and it’s hard to translate my dietry requirements not to mention France is the country of delicious gluten, sugar and dairy fueled food. The way I’ve been eating doesn’t leave much room for variety so we had to get a little creative with the things that I could eat so I wasn’t get bored of eating the same thing every day. Here is a recipe that we created while on the road… it’s a little strange but very quick and easy as well as really delicious for anyone who likes weird healthy food like me.


Seaweed and Quinoa San Choy Bow

2 sheets of Yaki nori (sushi seaweed)
2 sticks of celery
1 medium sized can of tuna in springwater
1 whole avocado
1-2 cups of quinoa cooked
Diced lettuce

All these amounts of ingredients are just an estimate… they can be changed to your preference… this makes around 2 serves depending on how much quinoa you make.

Cook the quinoa in a saucepan (2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa). Dice the avocado, celery and lettuce, then mix through the cooked quinoa. Drain the tuna and add to mixture, stirring it through evenly. Place the nori in a bowl and serve the quinoa into the middle of the seaweed evenly (as seen in the photo above). Garnish with spring onion if you desire and ta daaa, nutritious and delicious. Eat with a fork or if you don’t mind getting messy rip pieces of the nori up and wrap the qunioa up and dig in… just like san choy bow, but healthier!