I am always on the find of some good, easy to make, healthy “treats/lunch box fillers”. So you can imagine my excitment when I made two successful items in one week. And on top of that they can be frozen too!
The first was for a protein muffin, I tweaked the amount of sugar as I was concerned by how much honey was added and the second was a plain biscuit recipe which I changed castor sugar for rapadura sugar and also the white flour for a combination of coconut and rye flour.
I wrapped the muffins individually in gladwrap and froze them so they are can be grabbed easily. And I also froze half of the biscuit dough so I can quickly whip up a batch if need be
Peanut Butter Protein Muffins
2 large ripe bananas (mashed)
2 Tbsp rapadura sugar / rice syrup / honey
3 Tbsp natural unsweetened yoghurt
1/3 cup trim milk
4 Tbsp peanut butter
1 3/4 cups oat flour (blended oats)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Mix wet ingredients in one bowl. In another bowl mix the dry ingredients and then combine the two together. Place into muffin tins and bake at 180 degreeds for 10-15 minutes or until a skewer comes clean.
As I was sitting down to a cup of T2 Goregous Geisha this afternoon I really wanted something to munch on, so I headed to the freezer and much to my delight found a Tuppawear container filled of my homemade sugar free peppermint slice.!
And here is the recipe for you to try….
2 1/2 cups of almond meal
1/2 cup cacao powder
2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup brown rice malt syrup
1/4 cup water
2 cups of shredded coconut
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp mint extract
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat the oven to 180 and line a 20cm baking tin with baking paper. Combine the almond meal, cacao and baking powder in a bowl. Whisk together the eggs, syrup, and water and then pour into the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon the batter into the tin and bake for 20 minutes. Once cooked, set aside to cool.
Pulse the coconut with the water in a food processor until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs and then add the mint extract and mix well. Add the coconut oil and continue to pulse until combined. Press the mint flinging onto the cooled base and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Then gently melt and cacao butter and coconut oil in a pot and add the cacao powder. Pour over the top of the mint filling and freeze immediately. (this will stop it soaking into the mint ).
Once set, cut into squares and remove from the tin. Store in the fridge or freezer.
So I have been at home all week recovery and resting after having spine surgery last Friday. As an incredibly busy and active person this week has been a huge mental AND physical challenge. But I am proud to say I managed to watch 3 movies in one day…..something I have defiantly never done before.
I have been keeping up with my meditation each morning and as the week has processed I am easing back into walking and yoga…Along with this I have tried to remain positive and be grateful for everything…
And also as I have improved this week I have managed to get back into the kitchen…And what did I make first. This amazing sugar free fudge. You must try it!
Sugar Free Salted Peanut Butter Fudge
3 Tbsp Coconut Oil
1/4 cup of Kara coconut cream (Kara is the best and only brand I use…..)
1 tsp Organic Vanilla paste
pinch of sea salt
350g No salt, organic smooth peanut butter
1. Line a loaf tin with baking paper.
2. Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan over a low heat.
3. Once melted add, coconut cream, vanilla paste, sea salt and peanut butter. Once melted and mixed through you can pour out into the lined tin. Smooth the mixture down with the back of a fork and freeze for 1-2 hours. Once set cut and store in the freezer
So I started writing this and the list got pretty dam long. So I tried to cut it back but……well that was pretty hard. So here we go… (note this doesn’t include vegetables or fruits!)
– Homemade kombucha
– Sauerkuart / Kimchi
– Organic salted butter and organic smoked butter
– Almond milk
– Natural yoghurt
– Goats feta
– Urban Hippie Miso paste
– Waiheke Island Herb Spread
– Organic Vanilla paste
– Homemade preserved lemons
– Apple cider vinegar
– Coconut Yoghurt
– and the most important…..Champagne!!!!
While I was in hospital I decided to get back into daily mediation. This is something I have dabbled with in the past and have really enjoyed it. The benefits of mediation are endless…..helping with stress, focusing on the present, increasing self-awareness, reducing negative emotions, decreases muscle tension….
I recommend everyone to set themselves a challenge and give it a go. Even if its just 3 minutes a day.
So here are my tips
1. Accept that your meditation space doesn’t have to be quiet. I often mediate on the way to work in the car. Plus its a great skill to master. Once you have mastered the commute you can do it anywhere!
2. Be flexible about the time of the day you meditate. While morning is optimal, some days it may be lunch time or the afternoon that works best.
3. Be creative. Try meditating at the beach, in the park, at home, at work. You will get great satisfaction knowing you can mediate anywhere.
4. Expect the unexpected. Be prepared for unexpected thoughts to arise. Keep calm in the mind and breathe them away.
5. Be kind to yourself. Mastering your own meditation takes time. Be kind. Be patient. Be grateful.
You may have figured by now that I am not a massive fan of sugar. I have been aware of the effects of sugar on our body since a young age as my Dad was diagnosed with late onset Type 1 Diabetes when I was at primary sugar. Because of this sugar was never a massive part of our family life however over the more recent years I have cut back further and seen positive things….So the question is….if you are taking sugar out what are you putting in?
In an ideal world we would not have any added sugar OR artificial sweeteners but in this modern day and age we seem to be a long way from this…..
The scientific evidence has been mixed and recent studies have shown that these sweeteners may help weightless in the short term…. But what about long term, while this is defiantly a space that needs to be watched I personally am not the biggest fan and here is why……
I believe that all sweeteners (and yes this includes the ‘natural’ sweetener Stevia) increases your preference for sweet. Thus, relying on these types of sweeteners can continue the addiction to sweet. My advice is that sweet foods however sweetened should only be eaten occasional and in small portions.
So heres to savoury!
Nutritionist / Director
So if we like it or not…Mondays are inevitable.
And this may come as a surprise to many but I love Mondays. Mondays are a fresh start. Meaning each week you get the chance to make new goals. Perfect!!!
Here are a few of my tips to make YOUR Monday more enjoyable.!
1. I spend time on Sunday planning my week and doing some food prep. I make nut balls, protein muffins, bircher muesli and even homemade chocolate so there are no excuses. I also make a rough plan of what are dinner meals will be.
2. Get an early night! Making it easier to get your butt up to the gym in the morning, so you start the week off on the right foot. I pack my gym bag at night, lay out my gym clothes and pack my smoothie/breakfast/snacks/lunch all the night before so I can leave the house with my eyes shut still.
3. No snoozing. Im not a fan of hitting the snooze bottom..even at 5am. Alarm goes off and I get up straight away. Don’t even think about procrastinating!
4. Cut back on the drinking. I personally know this one is hard. Sundays are extremely tempting to have the occasional tipple especially if the sun is out or the fire is roaring.. But cutting back on alcohol over the weekend means your mind will be clearer and you will be less sluggish on Monday morning.
5. Before you leave work on Friday write your to do list for Monday. THis means you will not be stressing all weekend as everything you need to get done when you hit the office again is all laid out!
6. Take some time out for you! Sunday afternoon is a great chance to do something for you – yoga and a walk are my fans! Trust me, you will feel better for it come Monday morning.
7. Head to the markets! Stock up on lots of fresh fruit and vegetables on Sunday so all your meals during the week will be nutrient dense packed with lots of vitamins, minerals and fibre. Meaning making a smoothie or salad everyday so you aren’t tempted by your local cafe.
Tonight we are having mexican for dinner and Im pretty excited. Mexican is not only one of my favorite things to eat but also one of my favorite things to cook. Personally I think its hard to beat the combination of chill, coriander and lemon juice and in terms of meat free meals this gets the approval from JS. Bonus!
He is my twist of a mexican bean mix.
oil, a dash
2 celery sticks, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 knob of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 Tbsp cumin, ground
1 Tbsp coriander, ground
1 chili or 1 tsp ground chili
1 Tbsp cacao powder
1 can chopped tomatoes
1 can refried beans
1 can four bean mix, rinsed
1 can chickpeas, rinsed
In a large saucepan, add a dash of oil and once warm, gently sauté the onion, celery, shallot, garlic and ginger. Add the spice and dry fry for 3 minutes, stirring.
Add the tomatoes and beans and stir. Add cacao and chili.
Simmer for around 20minutes.
Serve with cauliflower rice, homemade salsa, guacamole and cashew cream.!
Director / Nutritionist
250ml coconut oil, melted
3/4 cup coconut flour
3/4 cup almond flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
5 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
2 Tbsp brown rice syrup
- Preheat the oven to 160C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients – coconut flour, almond flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. Mix well.
- Place 4 1/2 bananas in a bowl and mash throughly. Slice the remaining half banana diagonally into three or four pieces. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, rice syrup, then stir in the mashed banana.
- Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Add the coconut oil and continue stirring until mixed.
- Spoon the batter into the long tin and spread out evenly. Arrange the sliced banana on top and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Then take out and cover with foil and cook for a further 45-50 minutes.
- Remove the bread from the oven and cool for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
- Serve warm from the oven, or top with almond butter.
Director / Nutritionist