Thursday, 28 August 2014

Cappuccino Chia Seed Pudding

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


I've had chia pudding for breakfast the last two mornings, not only because I was curious to try the recipe out and fell instantly in love with it, but also, chia pudding is a really convenient food to take with you on the go. You prepare it the night before and it's ready and waiting for you the next morning. Plus, if you prepare the pudding in a seal-able jar or plastic container, you can just pop it into your bag or into your car and be on your way. I was baby-sitting the whole day the last two days, for my Aunty who has four kids, and this was my breakfast of choice to take with me. Chia pudding is filling (and will keep you feeling full for extended periods of time), super healthy, protein packed and contains endless amounts of health benefits for our bodies. I go into a bit more detail about chia seeds in my previous post for maple spice chia seed pudding here

I wanted a bit of a caffeine kick this morning as this was my second early morning in a row, baby-sitting. So I decided to make a cappuccino inspired chia seed pudding. I don't know why, but for some reason the coffee in this pudding just makes the texture of the pudding seem so much creamier and more decadent. I actually loved the taste and texture of this chia pudding so much. Would highly recommend that you try it out! 


Cappuccino Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients
2 tablespoons chia seeds (black or white variety)
1/2 cup (125ml) Avonmore protein milk (or milk of choice)
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules/powder
2 teaspoons boiling water
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup

Method
- Measure out the 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and put them into the bottom of your serving glass or bowl of choice. 
- In a small bowl or container (I used an egg cup), dissolve 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules or powder in 2 teaspoons of boiling water.
- Pour in the Avonmore protein milk (or other dairy or dairy free milk of choice) into the chia seeds and stir to combine.
- Then pour in the shot of coffee and stir again thoroughly.
- Finally, add the maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice) and give one last additional stir. 
- Place the chia pudding into the fridge and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour then stir it to prevent it from clumping and this also allows it to set correctly. 
- Then leave the chia pudding to soak and set for 4 to 8 hours (or over night, like me). 
- Serve the chia pudding as is, or add whatever toppings you desire; like sugar free jam, nut butter or any type of fruit you prefer.

My boyfriend and I are heading to the Electric Picnic festival tomorrow for the whole weekend. For those of you who aren't Irish, and don't know what the Electric Picnic is, it's a music festival which you camp out at and it takes place over three days here in Ireland. Well as you can imagine, like my holiday in Achill Island last week, with the camping situation, I probably won't be posting over the weekend. So it will be Monday before I post again. Unless I have some time in the morning before we go. But if not, have a great weekend everybody and check back on the blog to see how I got on at the Electric Picnic (this is my first ever music festival) plus stay tuned for some very exciting news that I will be revealing very very soon! 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Maple Spice Chia Seed Pudding

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

Chia seeds, and chia pudding for that matter, are a health food which are quickly growing in popularity amongst those of us who watch what we put into our bodies. I've used chia seeds myself before, in my chia seed porridge recipe and in my no-cook sugar free raspberry jam recipe. But I had never made a chia seed pudding before. I've seen loads of different chia pudding variaties on Instgram (if you know me, you'll know that I'm pretty much Instagram obsessed), so I decided to take the plug and start incorporating chia puddings into my diet. I decided to start off pretty simple, using simplistic flavours that are not only easy to assemble, but delicious too. So this is the first recipe I came up with.

Chia seeds are flavourless, so you need to add pretty hefty flavours to your chia pudding in order to make them flavourful. One serving of chia seeds is 2 tablespoons. You prepare chia seeds by letting them soak. They can soak up to 10 times their volume in liquid. When using 2 tablespoons for a single-serve chia pudding, you soak the seeds in half a cup of liquid (that's 125ml). One serving of chia seeds provides around 5g to 6g of protein. I used Avonmore Protein Milk, which contains around 6g of protein per 125ml (half a cup). So that means that my chia pudding packs a protein punch with at total of about 12g of protein altogether! Which is awesome for me in terms of reaching my strength and conditioning goals. Chia seeds are also known for their many health benefits, including their high calcium content.

Chia pudding is soft in texture, with a slight crunch still remaining wihtin the seeds. The pudding is quite thick and it really is super yummy. I would highly recommed that you all give it a try if you can get your hands on some chia seeds. You can buy them in health food stores and some super markets.


Maple Spice Chia Seed Pudding

Ingredients
2 tablespoons chia seeds (black or white variety)
1/2 cup (125ml) Avonmore protein milk (or milk of choice)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon 100% pure maple syrup

Method
- Measure out the 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and put them into the bottom of your serving glass or bowl of choice.
- Add the ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg and stir them through the chia seeds thoroughly.
- Pour in the avonmore protein milk (or other dairy or dairy free milk of choice) and stir to combine.
- Finally, add the maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice) and give one last additional stir.
- Place the chia pudding into the fridge and leave it for 30 minutes to 1 hour then stir it to prevent it from clumping and this also allows it to set correctly.
- Then leave the chia pudding for soak and set for 4 to 8 hours (or over night, like me).
- Serve the chia pudding as is, or add whatever toppings you desire; like sugar free jam, nut butter or any type of fruit you prefer.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Iced Chocolate Tea

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


I got this tea in Holland and Barrett a couple of weeks ago. It's called Choco Aztec Spice tea and it's by the brand Yogi Tea. It's so delicious! If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know that I love to drink this tea hot with a splash of milk (to make it creamy). It really is like drinking a subtle hot chocolate that is gently spiced with cinnamon and all those other delicious aromatic spices. So I decided to 'ice' this tea like I do with a lot of my other tea and coffee recipes. It was so yummy. I'd definitely recommend that you seek out this tea and invest in it. It's just perfect for whenever you get a chocolate or a hot chocolate craving. Maybe you could purchase it in other places other than Holland and Barrett. So look it up online. 


Now, this tea has a slight bit more of a chocolate brown hue in person, the colour didn't transfer onto the pictures, like it is in reality. Also, I sorry that these pictures are a bit over-saturated. That is what happens when you take a picture in unnatural lighting when it's dark outside. My fault since I only assembled and drank this tea last night. Never-the-less, on with the recipe!


Iced Chocolate Tea

Ingredients
1 choco aztec spice tea bag
Boiling water
Avonmore protein milk
2 large/4 small coconut water ice cubes/normal ice cubes


Method
- Boil the kettle with an ample amount of water.
- Put a choco aztec spice tea bag into your serving glass of choice. 

- Pour the boiling water into the serving glass, about 3/4 of the way up.
- 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 and add as much protein milk (or milk of choice) to make the tea as creamy as you desire.
- 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.


Monday, 25 August 2014

3 Ingredient Home-Made Peanut Butter Ice-Cream

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


Sorry I haven't posted in a bit over a week. It's beacause I was on a camping holiday in Achill Island with my boyfriend and his family for a week or so. I didn't have access to Wifi there (which was nice for a change actually) and plus, I dind't bring my laptop or anything. I wanted to have a bit of a break from social media and everything else and just enjoy all that was on offer to me in Achill. It was my first time to ever visit Achill Island and I would definitely reccomend to anyone to go there in the future. It's such a beautiful part of Ireland, sort of, untouched by industry and those other things that make a place 'urban'. I'll end this post with a couple of pictures from my trip for you to have a look at. But for now, on with the recipe.

This is a follow-up recipe from my previous recipe for 2 ingredient home-made banana ice-cream. This recipe is pretty much exactly the same (in that it uses a frozen banana and a splash of milk to create a healthy ice-cream), but I've upped the anti a bit by adding peanut butter to the mix. I added peanut butter for a few reasons. One, it's freaking delicious and by far my favourite nut butter. Two, it gives additional flavour to the ice-cream (and texture, if your like me and want to add crunchy peanut butter). And three, peanut butter is the nut butter which is highest in protein. Each tablespoon contains on average 5g of protein (I use the health food brand Kelkin). Combining this protein with the 1g of protein which is contained within the average banana, you've got yourself a pretty high protein snack with altogether 6g. You know it's going to be a good day when you start it off by having ice-cream for breakfast!


3 Ingredient Home-Made Peanut Butter Ice-Cream

Ingredients
1 large frozen banana
Splash of Avonmore Protein Milk (or milk of choice)
1 tablespoons crunchy/smooth peanut butter

Method
- 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.

- Scoop the peanut butter ice-cream out of the jug or blender and into serving cups, glasses or bowls.

If you follow me on Instagram, then you'll already know that I have started to ween myself back onto dairy. This is for a couple of reasons. Mainly, because dairy is much higher in protein than almost all other plant based milks. Protein has become very important to me lately, for a reason that I am going to reveal in the next few days or so. So stayed tuned to the blog. However, it is only dairy milk that I have started consuming again not really any other dairy products like yoghurt or cheese. For dairy milk, I particularly like the brand Avonmore. They have recently released a 'protein milk' which has 50% more protein than ordinary milk and is also only 1% fat. This is perfect for me as all the protein powders I have tried (natural soya protein & natural raw vegan protein) just do not seem to agree with my digestive system. I still consume soy yoghurt, as I just prefer the taste of it and plus, dairy yoghurt makes me bloated. So a lot of my up-coming posts will no longer be dairy free. So if you avoid dairy, just omit the dairy milk for a plant based milk of your choosing.



Friday, 15 August 2014

Peanut Butter & Sultana Apple 'Sandwich'

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


This is a super easy, yet super yummy recipe. Plus, it's a completely balanced snack; containing complex carbohydrates (the apple), heart healthy fats (the peanut butter), protein (also the peanut butter) ,simple sugars and fibre (the sultanas). Everything you require in one sitting! Plus, you also get to eat the rest of the apple which doesn't make it into the 'sandwich'. Cook's perk I guess.

As always choose an all natural peanut butter or a peanut butter with the least amount of ingredients as possible. Ensure the peanut butter you choose has absolutely no added sugar and only uses heart healthy oils, such as palm oil. When your choosing sultanas, ensure you buy a packet that contain only the dried fruit and maybe a small percentage of oil. But ensure that the sultanas you choose do not have any added sugar what-so-ever.


Peanut Butter & Sultana Apple 'Sandwich'

Ingredients1 apple
1 tablespoon crunchy/smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon sultanas

Method
- Cut an apple in half. I used a Golden Delicious apple (because this particular apple and also Pink Lady apples are my favourite), but use whichever apple you prefer.
- Cut two large, even sized chunks out of the apple and set aside the rest of the apple (but don't forget to eat it - waste not, want not).
- Core the chunks of apple using an apple corer (like me) or a knife.
- Spread one tablespoon of crunchy or smooth peanut butter onto one of the apple chunks.
- Evenly disperse the sultanas over the peanut butter.
- Finally, finish off by placing the other chunk of apple on top of the peanut butter and sultanas covered side.


Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Green Tea Smoothie

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


If your like me, and you don't really enjoy drinking green tea, but you still love the health benefits that it can offer your body, then this is the recipe for you. I am constantly trying to incorporate green tea into my recipes, but in a way where you do not even notice that it is there. For example; my green tea steeped porridge. This is another great way to get green tea into you, without even noticing. So now, no one has an excuse not to reep the benefits.

I made my green tea the night before I planned on using it in my porridge for breakfast the following morning. I left the green tea to steep (with the tea bag in the boiling water) overnight, so it really got a good chance to infuse. When the tea had come to room temperature, I put the tea into the fridge, as I like to add cold liquids to my smoothies. But, if you don't have that kind of time and a room temperature smoothie doesn't bother you, simply allow the green tea to steep (with the tea bag in the boiling water) until the tea has come to room temperature and you are ready to use it.


Green Tea Smoothie

Ingredients
1 banana
1/4 avocado
1/2 cup green tea


Method
- Make the green tea by pouring half a cup of boiling water into a cup or mug with the green tea bag in it.
- Allow the tea to steep overnight (putting the tea into the fridge once it has come to room temperature).
- Remove the tea from the fridge and take the tea bag out of the brew (being sure to squeese out the excess water, it's all useful) and then commence making your smoothie.
- Chop a banana into chunks and put the pieces into a blender, food processor or a wide and tall jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender (like me).
- Add the quarter of the avocado to the blender or jug (this is for the nutritional benefits but also to give the smoothie a more green tinge).
- Finally, pour over the steeped green tea and blend until completely smooth.
- Smoothies are best served and enjoyed immediately.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Peanut Butter & Jelly Baked Banana

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

This is another one of my baked banana recipes! I just can't get enough of them. Seriously, if you haven't tried to bake a banana yet, you absolutely have to! There are no words to describe just how good it tastes. So give it a go! I still have loads of baked bananas recipes up my sleeve. Each time, they get more and more inventive. So if your a fan of these baked fruits, keep an eye out on my blog over the next few weeks.  

Like always, choose a peanut butter with as few ingredients as possible. Added salt or a healthy heart oil (like palm oil or something like that) is fine, but steer clear of peanut butters which have added sugar and vegetable oils. An all natural peanut butter (containing only peanuts and nothing else) is your best bet. 

The same goes for when you are choosing your sugar free jam. Choose a jam with only two to three ingredients (fruit, a natural sweetener (like grape juice) and natural pectin (usually sourced from apples). Steer clear of jams which are sweetened artificially. Artificial sweeteners are just too hit and miss. You don't actually know what you are putting into your body. 

The peanut butter I use is a health food brand called Kelkin and the jam I used is a brand called Follain. Both can be found in Tesco. 



Peanut Butter & Jelly Baked Banana

Ingredients
1 large banana
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 tablespoon sugar free jam 


Method
- 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.
- Remove your banana from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes as you measure out your peanut butter and the jam.
- Smear the peanut butter all over the top of the banana, followed by the jam.

- Serve immediately and enjoy.