Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Baked Banana

 Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

If you ever crave chocolate in the morning (or any other time of the day for that mater - this recipe would also be perfect for dessert), then this is the recipe for you! I used a dark chocolate hazelnut spread for this recipe (I use the brand; Keen Nutrition) for the added protein mainly, but by all means, if your not worried about your protein in take, just use one serving of 70% dark chocolate. Make sure to read the label to see what one serving consists of, as it differs from bar to bar, as the square size and thickness of the chocolate varies. 

This recipe is super simple, so I won't waffle on and on and I'll just get straight to the good part!

Chocolate & Toasted Coconut Baked Banana

1 large banana
1 tablespoon dark chocolate hazelnut spread/1 serving 70% dark chocolate
1 teaspoon unsweetened dessicated coconut 

- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Using a sharp knife, score the skin along the length of the banana on both sides.
- Remove the top layer of skin, revealing half of the banana, but leaving half of the banana protected by the skin.
- Place the banana on a baking tray (skin side down).
- Put your banana into the oven and bake for 15 - 25 minutes, depending on your oven. It takes my oven 20 minutes to bake my banana to perfection.
- Your banana is cooked when it the remaining skin has turned completely black, the banana itself looks 'dry' on top but the flesh of the banana is soft and squishy to the touch.
- While your banana is cooking, toast the coconut on a dry pan until it starts to turn golden and smells fragrant.
- Remove your banana from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you measure out your dark chocolate hazelnut spread.
- Smear the chocolate spread all over the top of the banana then sprinkle the toasted coconut on top.

- If you are just using dark chocolate, melt the chocolate in a small bowl or container in the microwave, then smear all over the banana.
- When melting chocolate in the microwave, ensure to heat the chocolate in 10 to 20 seconds stints, and make sure to continuously stir the chocolate between heating periods. - Serve immediately and enjoy. 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Home-Made Lemon Iced Tea + Blog Turns 1 Year Old

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

As the title to this blog post suggests, yes, my blog has officially turned one years old (do you say one year old or one years old, I'm not too sure). Well, my blog actually turned one on the 20th of September, so the Saturday that has just passed. But unfortunately, I was super busy over the weekend (preparing for my personal fitness training course which is starting this week and for the Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland 2014 Bootcamp which is coming up this coming weekend) that I didn't get time to post on my blog's actual birthday! Sad face. Oh well. I'm still letting you all in on the good news, I'm just a couple of days late. 

So now that I have an opportunity to, I would like to thank every single one of you who take the time out of their day to view my recipes and read my posts. I would also like to thank everyone who comments on my blog posts or who gets in touch with me directly. All of your lovely, positive words are so motivating and encouraging. I really do appreciate every single individual who views my blog and this only spurs me on further to keep posting my own unique recipes of you guys to see. 

As always, please do let me know what you think of my recipes if you do try them out by commenting on the blog or the recipe post. Better yet, contact me directly via Twitter or Instagram or even post a picture of the recipe that you tried on Twitter or Instagram and use the hashtag #breakfastaddictionblog so that I can see your re-creations and maybe even feature your photos on my own account. Also, please let me know what kinds of recipes to include more on the blog. It means a lot to me that I am consistently posting more recipes of what you guys want to see (for example; baking, desserts, smoothies, high protein recipes, no-bake, etc).

Now that I've said all of that, on with the recipe. I am a huge iced tea fan (as most of you probably already know considering the amount of iced tea recipes I have been posting recently). Don't get me wrong, both Nestea and Lipton's iced teas are super delicious. But both brands are full of sugar. Literally. As much as any full sugar soft drink. Which completely out-weighs the benefits of the tea then. That's why I decided to make my own! My favourite flavour of iced tea has to be peach iced tea. But lemon iced tea is a close second. And since I had a lemon tea bag hanging around the apartment, which was never going to be used since I would never drink a fruit tea hot (yuck, I just can't do it, reminds me of Lemsip cold and flu drinks), I decided that now would be the perfect opportunity to make my own home-made lemon iced tea which was sugar free and healthy!

I used coconut sugar to sweeten my lemon iced tea here, because it is neutral in flavour, but you could use agave nectar either. If you don't have coconut sugar or agave, you could use honey or 100% pure maple syrup, but these liquid sweeteners are dominant in flavour, which will more than likely over-power the lemon flavour.

You can also use lemon extract in this recipe (natural lemon extract preferably), for a bigger kick of lemon flavour. You could also add the juice of half a lemon to this recipe, both for the added lemon flavour and the health benefits. But I just simply used my lemon tea bag, because I am more of a 'subtle flavour' fan rather than a 'dominant flavour' fan. But it's totally up to you.

Please excuse the super sparkly and long silver nails I have in the following picture. I got gel nails done for the Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland Bootcamp which is coming up this weekend. No, I am definitely not one of those girls who would always have my nails done like this. I'm actually quite the opposite as I am finding them very hard to deal with. But don't you just love this Urban Outfitter 'To-Go Jar'? My boyfriend got it for me (along with a few other things) for our one year anniversary which was a couple of weeks ago. He knows me so well!

Home-Made Lemon Iced Tea

1 lemon tea bag
Boiling water
1 teaspoon coconut sugar (or sweetener of choice)
1/4 teaspoon lemon extract/juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
2 large/4 small coconut water ice cubes/normal ice cubes

- Boil the kettle with an ample amount of water.
- Put the lemon tea bag into your serving glass of choice. 

- Pour the boiling water into the serving glass, about 3/4 of the way up.
- Then add your sweetener (and optional lemon extract or lemon juice) and stir it to fully dissolve and incorporate it into the tea.
- Allow the tea to come to room temperature.
- Then, place the tea into the fridge to steep and chill for four to eight hours (or over night).
- When the tea has steeped and is chilled, remove the tea bag from the glass.
- I add two large coconut water ice cubes to my iced drinks (for extra nutrition) but you can add two to four normal ice cubes, depending on their size.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Pina Colada Parfait

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

Creamy. Pineapple-y. Coconut-y. Sounds familar right? It sounds like a Pina Colada! For those of you who might not know, a Pina Colada is a popular cocktail which contains white rum, pineapple juice and coconut milk. The flavour combination is a match made in tropical heaven. But now you can achieve that same flavour, but without the need of an alcoholis beverage. Just make my Pina Colada breakfast parfait and you'll be well on your way to tropical bliss. Plus, your body will really thank you for it.

Pineapple is known for it's detoxifying abilities. Natural soy yoghurt (or you can use any dairy or non-dairy yoghurt of your choice) provides us with the protein that we need to feed our muscles. And desicated coconut provides us with essential healthy fats.

You need to use fresh pineapple here, as tinned or defrosted frozen pineapple just won't cut it. You can also add a quarter cup of toasted rolled oats (or toasted gluten free rolled oats) to this parfait, to make it more filling ,if you'd prefer.  

Pina Colada Parfait

1/4 of a fresh pineapple peeled and chopped
1/2 cup natural soy yoghurt (or yoghurt of choice)
2 teaspoons unsweetened desicated coconut

- Peel and chop quarter of a fresh pineapple into bit sied chunks.
- Measure out half  cup of natural soy yoghurt.
- Measure out two teaspoons of unsweetened desicated coconut (as this is one serving) and toast the coconut on a dry pan over a medium heat until slightly browned and fragrant (be careful to keep a close eye on it as it can burn quickly if your not vigilant).
- Choose a serving glass and then start to layer your ingredients.
- Start with half the pineapple chunks in the bottom of the glass, then add half the soy yoghurt, then sprinkle half of the toasted coconut on top.
- Repeat the last step and your Pina Colada parfait will be complete.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream

Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

I'm still going strong with the home-made healthy banana ice-cream recipes. If you don't already, follow me on Instagram for more nana ice-cream/nice cream inspiration, that doesn't make it onto the blog. This particular recipe, is like a dream come true for me. Why? Because I've said many times before how much I adore the flavour combination that is banana, peanut butter and chocolate. 

I used 70% dark chocolate chips for this recipe, which I got in Holland & Barrett. But you may be able to find them in some super markets, and not just health food shops. I found dark chocolate chips in Aldi once before. Alternatively, use one serving of a 70% dark chocolate bar of your choice and just chop it up into chunks. Just make sure you read the serving suggestion to determine how many squares counts as one serving as it differs from bar to bar due to the size and shape variation. 

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream

1 large frozen banana
Splash of Avonmore Protein Milk (or milk of choice)
1 tablespoons crunchy/smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon 70% dark chocolate chips

- Peel and chop your banana into chunks, then place the pieces into a food and freezer bag and freeze for at least four hours, or until the banana is solid. I always freeze my bananas well in advance, so I have them in the freezer for whenever I get an ice-cream craving.
- Remove the frozen banana from the freezer and remove from the freezer bag.
- Place the frozen banana into a blender, food processor or into a wide jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender (like me).
- Add a splash of avonmore protein milk and start to blend the banana.
- It should start to resemble a texture similar to thick ice-cream.
- You can add more milk if needs be.
- Once all of the banana is blended and no lumps and left, add the tablespoon of peaut butter, mix this through and then give the ice-cream one final blend to combine.

- Then add the chocolate chips and stir them through to evenly disperse them throughout the ice-cream.- Scoop the ice-cream out of the jug or blender and into serving cups, glasses or bowls.

I'm starting my course next week, through an organisation called Image Fitness Training, which will qualify me as a personal fitness trainer and a group class instructor. This means that I will be commuting twice a week up to Liffey Valley on the bus. And do you know what that means? Packed lunches! Let me know if you would be interested at all in any blog posts regarding ideas for healthy packed lunches or, alternatively, follow me on Instagram, as I will more than likely be posting pictures of the lunches that I do pack. 

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Peanut Butter & Date Banana 'Sandwich'

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt
This is a really quick and easy recipe, similar to my recipe for my peanut butter and sultana apple 'sandwich'. Please excuse the slight bruising on the end of my banana by the way. Although, bit of a useful fact for you here; you should actually eat bananas when they start to get brown spots and bruising on their skin, rather than when they are perfectly yellow or still have a tinge of green on them. Why? Because when they are turning brown, this is when they are actually fully ripe and when they do the best things for you, nutritionally. A sligtly browned banana is great for your digestion and also, this is the stage when a banana is at it's sweetest and most flavourful. So there ya go!

I used two Medjool dates for this recipe, because that is a single serving, but only one date actually fit onto my banana 'sandwich'. Nevermind, it just meant that I got to eat one of nature's yummiest fruits on the side. Seriously, if you haven't tried Medjool dates before, go and get some right now! You can find them in many super markets (I get mine in Tesco) and although they are a little bt pricy, they are worth every cent. Honestly, I compare them to eating caramels!

Peanut Butter & Date Banana 'Sandwich'

1 banana
1 tablespoon crunchy/smooth peanut butter
2 Medjool dates

- Peel your banana and slice it directly down the middle, using a sharp knife, as not to cause any cracks or breaks to the flesh. A regular dinner knife will just not do the job here.
- Measure out one tablespoon of peanut butter (I use crunchy here, for extra texture) and spread it onto one of the slices of banana (the smooth, cut side).
- Pit your Medjool dates and chop each one into four even sized pieces.
- Place the chopped date on top of the peanut butter (remember to eat any dates/pieces of date that don't make it onto the 'sandwich').
- Finally, finish by placing the other slice of banana on top.

The one year anniversary of my blog is coming up soon (the 20th of September). I can't actually believe that it's already nearly been a year since I started this blog. My blog has really come on in leaps and bounds over the last year and the number of viewers grows and grows every single day. I want to thank each and every one of you who takes time out of your day to read my recipes and posts. I'd like to know more about what you guys would like to see on the blog in the next coming year so please let me know (by commenting below or contacting me via social media) what kinds of recipes you would like me to post/see more of. Or, if you have any specific recipe requests, maybe an unhealthy food favourite of yours that you'd like to see 'healthified', let me know as well, and I'll see what I can do.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Hot Caramel Sauce

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

I have gone nana ice-cream/nice-cream (2 ingredient healthy home-made banana ice-cream, for those of you who aren't used to the terminology) mad in the last couple of weeks. I froze a whole batch of bananas after I bought them there one of the days (eight bananas in total), so have been making loads and loads of home-made healthy ice-cream and changing up the flavours and toppings as I go. Keep up with all of the variations and toppings I have created by checking back on the blog regularly, or, follow me on Instagram, as I post the pictures and recipes that don't make it onto the blog, on there.

This is a recipe for hot caramel sauce, which is a common ice-cream topping. However, my hot caramel sauce is actually good for you and not loaded with butter, sugar and fat, like the sauce you would find in an ice-cream parlour/ice-cream stand. This recipe is actually very similar to my 3 ingredient healthy caramel sauce, which I posted previously, except for two things. One, the sauce is served hot and not room temperature or cold and two, there is one additional ingredient added. No, this ingredient is not essential (so you don't have to add it if you don't have this ingredient available to you), but, as we are serving this sauce hot, like any sauce in general, it tends to thin out when heated, and therefore, will not be as thick as we might want it. That's why I add this one additional ingredient, which acts to thicken the sauce, and also, keep the sauce thick, even when heated.

The ingredient I add is called arrowroot powder. You will find it in your local supermarket in the baking section, usually beside the cornflour. You can use cornflour instead, if you do not have or can not find arrowroot powder, as it will do the very same thing. I just choose to use arrowroot powder, as it is a healthier choice than cornflour and is gaurenteed gluten free, which cornflour can not always be.

Hot Caramel Sauce

4 pitted dates (does not have to be Medjool)
1/4 cup boiling water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 - 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder/cornflour
1 serving 2 ingredient home-made healthy banana ice-cream

- Chop the dates into small pieces and then pop them into a wide and tall measuring jug.
- Pour the boiling water over the dates and add the vanilla extract.
- For the best texture and the smoothiest caramel, it is best to leave the dates soaking in the boiling water for as long as possible before blending, but this is not essential.  
- Use a hand blender to blend the date mixture until it takes on a thick, creamy, consistent texture resembling caramel.
- Add 1/2 a teaspoon of arrowroot powder and stir it in until incorporated.
- If you think the caramel could be thicker, add an additional 1/2 a teaspoon and mix well to combine.
- Chill the caramel mixture in the fridge until completely cooled as this will fully thicken and set the caramel.
- When you want to serve the caramel, heat it up in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or so, or until it reaches a temperture that you prefer.
- Stir the caramel well before serving.
- This caramel will last in the fridge for a few days, so can definitely be made in advance to when you want to serve it.

Okay, so I have mentioned in a couple of previous posts that I had some exciting news to share with you guys. Well, it's finally time to come clean and let you all in on what's going on. If you already follow me on Instagram or Twitter, then you'll already know what's happening. Basically, I applied for the competition, Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland, not really thinking that anything would come of it. To my surprise, I was actually chosen as a contestant to compete for the title of Miss Bikini Swimsuit Ireland and to go on to Mexico to represent Ireland in Miss Bikini Swimsuit USA, if I was to actually win the competition. So I attended a press call and photoshoot on the 7th of September (this is where the picture below was taken) and I will soon be heading to the bootcamp part of the competition on the 20th of September. The final takes part late in October. I am so excited to be a part of this competition as it's a completely new experience for me. Let me know if you want me to keep you up to date on how I go throughout the competition, otherwise, follow me on Instagram or Twitter to see how I prepare for the stage regarding food, fitness, etc.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Healthy Chocolate Shell (Hardening Chocolate Sauce)

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dary Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt

I'm sure we all know what a chocolate shell is when it comes to ice-cream. If you've ever seen a McDonald's or Burger King/Hungry Jack's (Australian Burger King) menu, you'll know exactly what I mean. It's a chocolate sauce that you dip a soft-serve cone into and it instantly hardens, creating a chocolate shell all over the ice-cream. I used to work at a Hungry Jacks in Australia, and I know for a fact that this chocolate sauce is given the ability to harden via oils and pig fat. Yes, pig fat. I don't want to gross you out or anything, but I would see the bags of chocolate sauce in the cooler and a thick layer of yellow pig fat would sit on top of all of the chocolate sauce within the bag. Obviously, this is the case before the sauce is stirred and heated up, to stop it separating. Doesn't sound so appetising does it? It's also extremely bad for you. That's why hen I saw lot's of Instagrammers (yes, still obsessed with Instagram) creating their own healthy version of this chocolate shell, I knew that I absolutely had to try it.

This is one of those recipes where when you are making it, it seems so simple, so easy, that it seems there's no way that it could actually work. After I had made the sauce and was pouring it onto my 'ice-cream', I was doubtful that it would even set and harden. But it did! It really did. It worked so well and tasted absolutely amazing and that texture is exactly that of an actual chocolate shell, just way, way, way, better for you. I adore this recipe now and swear that I will be making it again and again. I am also trying to think of other things that I could make that this sauce would set and harden onto, that aren't just ice-cream. Stay tuned, as I'm sure I'll come up with something. 

I used extra virgin coconut oil for this recipe. Coconut oil is the healthiest oil for us, currently available on the market. It is widely available now and can be purchased in supermarkets and health food stores. I bought my huge tub of it in Dunnes Stores for around 6 euro. I also used cacao powder in this recipe. Yes, cacao powder, I didn't just spell cocoa wrong. Cacao powder is completely raw and the purest form of chocolate available to us. It is not heated (unlike every other chocolate product on the market) and so it contains the highest levels of antioxidants found in any food source ever! Cacao powder is the only way you can truly eat chocolate completely guilt free. As it contains for added sugars or fats either. But of course, if you don't have access to cacao powder (I bought mine online from a health food shop), you can always use cocoa powder (cocoa powder is heated, so antioxidants are killed during this process). Just ensure you buy a brand that has just one ingredient; cocoa powder, and no added sugar or any other nasties what so ever. Also ensure that you buy a maple syrup that is 100% pure, contains just one ingredient, is of at least a medium grande and Canadian too. 

I used my basic recipe for 2 ingredient home-made healthy banana ice-cream for this recipe. Just look at that chocolate-y sauce, just before it set and hardened. Yum!

Healthy Chocolate Shell (Hardening Chocolate Sauce)

1 serving of 2 ingredient home-made healthy banana ice-cream

1/2 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup
1/2 tablespoon cacao powder (or cocoa powder)

- Heat the coconut oil in the microwave, using 10 second intervals and stirring each interval until it is fully melted and is completely in liquid form. It took me 20 - 30 seconds to melt mine. 
- Add the maple syrup and stir to combine. 
- Add the cacao powder or cocoa powder and stir well until it is completely incorporated. 
- Serve by pouring the chocolate sauce over 2 ingredient home-made healthy banana ice-cream. 
- Allow the sauce a minute or two to set and harden before eating.