All posts in Sugar Free

Afghan Biscuits!

Larissa Beeby's Healthy Afghan Recipes

Larissa Beeby’s Healthy Afghan Recipes

Ok so technically they aren’t afghans but they are kind of close and the batter is super delicious just like Afghan Biscuits.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup coconut flakes ( I always use Ceres)
  • 4 Tbsp cacao (I like it dark but if you prefer it lighter use less)
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • a dash of water

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together and then add the peanut butter to form a thick paste.
  3. Add water to form a dough. And roll into small balls.
  4. And here is the important bit – wet a fork and gently push down the balls.
  5. Bake for 10-15minutes!

ENJOY!

If you would like help with meal ideas and plans , contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for your own nutrition consultation either online, in person or over the phone.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Raw Salted Caramel Slice

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What’s not to like about salted caramel?  To me it is the perfect combination of sweet and salt!  So here is my version of a traditional caramel slice recipe, made purely from whole foods.  But here is the good part – the caramel centre is the thickest part of the 3 layers, which is just how I like it.  And I hope you do too!

Crunchy Base

  • ½ C walnut pieces
  • 1/2 C dates, pre soaked
  • ½ C cacao
  • ½ C buckwheat

Salted Caramel Centre

  • 3/4 C natural peanut butter
  • ½ C tahini
  • ½ C rice malt syrup
  • 1 C dates, pre-soaked
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • ½ t salt
  • ½ C slivered almonds

Chocolate Topping

  • 2 Tbsp rice malt syrup
  • 4 Tbsp cacao butter
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 T cacao
  • pinch of salt

Method

  1. Line a 20x20cm  tin with baking paper.
  2. First start on the base – place the walnuts, dates (drained) and cacao in the food processor.  You will need to pulse this at the start to break down into smaller pieces and then blend into a smooth chocolately paste.
  3. Take out the food processor bowl and manually stir in the buckwheat.
  4. Pour the mixture into your tin, smooth into an even layer, pack it down firmly and then put it in the freezer to set.
  5. Gently warm your caramel ingredients a little bit first so they blend together nicely. The coconut oil should be super soft to touch or near to liquid. Put everything into the food processor and work it into a really smooth glossy caramel.
  6. Give it a bit of taste for the salt factor.
  7. Remove the base from the freezer, spread the thick caramel on top and place back into the freezer.
  8. This part is easy; melt all the ingredients together, mix well and pour over the caramel. Then you have to be patient…This is the hardest part for me but you will need to give it at least a couple of hours!
  9. Once set run a warm knife around the edges and use the paper lining to lift it out of the tray. Cut it into even sized pieces or if you are me, uneven sized as sometimes I like bite sized pieces too!

PS  If you can save any then you can hide some in the freezer for later!

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

Brazil Cheese

Homemade nut cheese can be a great addition to your diet.  While I am a huge fan of dairy some people can not tolerate it, you may want extra protein and nutrients (Brazil nuts are high in selenium and Vit E) or you may just want to try something new.

I love this on seed bread, crackers, with veggie crudités, adding it to stir fry veggies or a dip with kumara fries.
Brazil Nut Cheese Recipe - Nutrition By Design

Brazil Nut Cheese Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of Brazil nuts
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp Nutritional yeast ( Not bakers yeast, Nutritional Yeast is available in the health isle of the supermarket or health food stores)
  • 1 lemon squeezed

Method

  1. Place all the ingredients in the blender and pulse until the nuts are into smaller pieces.
  2. Then blend to smooth!
  3. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

 

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

 

 

 

Courgette Brownie

Ingredients

  • 1 large courgette
  • 1 cup salted peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla paste
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 block of Whittakers 80% Chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C.
  2. Grate the courgette into a large bowl ( I use my parmesan shaver to make it super fine).
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix.
  4. Pour into a greased baking tin and back for around 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist

 

Tips on reducing your sugar intake

Reducing Sugar Tips

Sugar is the all the buzz at the moment.  And while we are constantly bombarded with stories in the media there is still a lot of confusion about what this means.  There are two types of sugar; naturally occurring sugars and added sugars. It is added sugar that we need to watch out for, which is included in common processed food and drinks.  So when we talk about reducing our sugar intake we aren’t talking about fruit (fructose) or milk (lactose), we are talking about the sugar the is added to food.

Sugary foods often don’t have much to offer in terms of nutrition and are often empty calories.  (think sugary carbonated beverages).  This means larger spikes in your blood sugar which can make you feel hungry and reaching for more sugar.  Excess sugar can also create an acidic environment in your body. Ultimately, decreasing your addedvsugar intake can help you lose weight, have better control over your blood sugar levels and reduce your risk of developing chronic diseases.

Here is my tips on reducing your sugar intake:

Check labels:  Sugar is often hidden in my foods in the supermarket.  And some of these foods may not be what you would imagine such as tomato sauce, yoghurt (we are talking added sugar here), and even crackers.  On top of this there is around 56 different names for sugar….Agave Nectar, Barley Malt Syrup, Beet Sugar, Brown Rice Syrup, Brown Sugar, Cane Crystals, Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Coconut Palm Sugar, Corn sweetener, Corn syrup, Dehydrated Cane Juice, Dextrin, Dextrose,Evaporated Cane Juice, Fructose, Fruit juice concentrate, Glucose, High-fructose corn syrup, Honey, Invert sugar, Lactose, Maltodextrin, Malt syrup, Maltose, Maple syrup, Molasses, Palm Sugar, Raw Sugar, Rice Syrup, Saccharose, Sorghum or sorghum syrup, Sucrose, Syrup, Treacle, Turbinado Sugar, Xylose.

Up your vege intake:  Everyone can benefit from increasing their vegetable intake.  Vegetables are powerhouses for vitamins and minerals and fibre.  The fibre in vegetables will help keep you fuel for longer and therefore less likely to reach for those sugary snacks between your  meals.  So add an extra vegetable or two into your meals. 

Hydrate:  Our thirst is often mis read for hunger.  So next time you think you are hungry or craving sugar then reach for a glass of water first.  Im not saying replace meals with water!  But we need to constantly fuel our bodies with water, after all we are 80% water!

Eat Breakfast:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and one that a lot of people struggle with.  Breakfast is well and truly breaking-the-fast, so after around 12 hours of ‘fasting’ from dinner the night before its important to fuel your body with the right nutrients.  These nutrients and energy will set you up for the day by providing you with what you need to concentrate and function efficiently.  And here is the bonus…..it will make it less likely for those sugar cravings to sneak in. But it is important that you pass on those sugar laden cereals, cafe muffins and breakfast bars.  Your breakfast should include a balance of protein, fibre (from vegetables or good wholegrain carbohydrate sources) and protein.  This combination will help satisfy your hungry and help to keep you fuel to lunch time.

Exercise:  I have many clients tell me that when they are on an ‘exercise buzz’ they are more likely to make healthy food choices.  So why not make this your normal and make exercise part of your life.  Make your goal to move everyday but remember you can not out exercise a bad diet!  Plus daily exercise will help boost your endorphin and serotonin levels, which are our feel good hormones. These will give you a natural mood boosting effect, making it less likely for you to crave sugar.

Snack Smart: Snacking on sugar can often be a response to a low mood.  A good trick is to have your snacks prepared and on hand.  Good snack options include: raw nuts, vegetables and hummus or avocado dip, apple with peanut or almond butter, nut and seed balls or hard-boiled eggs.

Larissa

Director / NZ Registered Nutritioinst

Protein Chocolate

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I love nothing more than when JS asks if there is any dessert and then heading into the kitchen and being able to make him a ‘sweet treat’ that is not packed of sugar and actually nourishes your body.

This recipe contains two great sources of protein, from the protein powder and the peanut butter.  Proteins are the main building blocks of the body. They are used to make muscles, organs, tendons and skin. We also use protein to make enzymes, hormones and lots of tiny molecules that make our bodies work.  So a pretty important nutrient.  And it also helps us to stay full for longer which is great for satiety.

Ingredients

  • 4 scoops of Nuzest Vanilla Protein
  • 4 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 4 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp cacao

Method

  1. Gently melt the coconut oil and mix together with the other ingredients.
  2. Pour into a container and freeze to set.  This chocolate can also be kept in the fridge.

Enjoy! x

Larissa

Director /  NZ Registered Nutritionist

Seed Crackers and Raw Vegemite: A match made in heaven

FullSizeRenderSo to relax you may have guessed it but I love to spend some time in the kitchen.  For me this often happens on a lazy Sunday.  I try and maximise the most of this time as just like everyone some weeks we are either away or I just don’t have the time.  I make some things in large batches such as “muesli” bars, bliss balls and muesli to last us a few weeks of work lunches.  Another thing I like to make for snacks are seed crackers.  This recipe is super easy with the hardest part waiting for the crackers to cook!  And now for the good bit….Raw vegemite!  Yes you read that right, here is a homemade raw vegemite recipe and its perfect on my seed crackers with avocado.  A nourishing snack perfect for the weekend. So set some time aside one Sunday as this saying is true “PREPARATION IS KEY!”

Seed Crackers

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups of mixed seeds (I normally use a mix of chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin, linseed and poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or LSA
  • 1 Tbsp tahini
  • 1 Tbsp tamari or coconut aminos or soy sauce
  • ~3 cup water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 110C
  2. Simply place the seeds, almond meal, tahini, and coconut aminos in a bowl and mix well.
  3. Gently add water to form a thick  ‘paste’.
  4. Pour the mixture onto a flat baking tray lined with baking paper, then use a wet spatula to press it down so its thin and compact.
  5. Bake for around 1.5 hrs or until crispy.

Homemade Vegemite!

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbsp tahini (you can use black tahini for a more ‘vegemite’ colour!)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut aminos or tamari
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp Maca powder
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Method

  1. Simply mix or process in a small blender until well combined!

 

Enjoy!

Larissa 

Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist 

 

 

 

‘Healthy Caramel Slice’

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I love caramel. On the rare occasions I want something sweet it is normally caramel based (or ice cream but thats another story). I will pass on chocolate any day but the beige, creamy, caramelized under tones get me everytime.
So of course I had to modify and come up with a healthier version…..

Ingredients

BASE
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts
1/2 cup raw almonds
1 cup of dates
3/4 cup of water
TOPPING
4 Tbsp Cacao
1 cup of dates
3/4 cup of hot water

Method
Place the cashew nuts, almonds dates and water in a food processor and blend until it becomes a fine crumb and then clumbs into a ball.
Press into a slice tin.
Place the dates and hot water into the blend and leave for 2 minutes. Then add the cacao and blend until smooth.
This recipe is rich and sweet and incredibly satisfying. AND they are gluten, vegan, refined sugar and dairy free.

Larissa

Director / Nutritionist