Thursday, 31 July 2014

Cheats Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

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


It's a great how wholemeal bagels are now widely available for us to buy. However, one of the nicest (in my opinion) bagels available on the market is the cinnamon raisin bagel. The problem with this bagel is that it is primarily made from refined white flour and it also contains a fair amount of sugar. Unfortunately, there is no wholemeal variety of this bagel avilable (well not that I know of anyways, be sure to comment below if you've ever come across one). So because of this, I took it upon myself to create a wholemeal bagel with the same flavours of my favourite cinnamon raisin one. Now, it's a big ask to make your own bagels from scratch (what with the yeast and the rising and the boiling before even baking), though I wil definitely attempt to make my own some day. So that's why I call this recie my 'cheats' cinnamon raisin bagel, because I don't actually make my own bagels from scratch, but rather 'cheat' and just create those same flavours on a pre-bought wholemeal bagel. So for me, and for all those people who want to capture that same flavour of a cinnamon raisin bagel, but in a quick, easy and healthier way, this is what I came up with.

Like my previous post, I used a wholemeal bagel slim/thin for this recipe as they contain only 120 calories in comparison to approximately the 250 calories contained within an ordinary wholemal bagel. But by all means, use a normal wholemeal bagel if you prefer or if that's all that is available to you. The only other ingredients I used for my version of a cinnamon raisin bagel are; a healthy liquid sweetener (I used mapel syrup, but you can use either honey or agave nectar instead), ground cinnamon and some sultanas (but you can use raisins or any other dried fruit for that matter).


Cheats Cinnamon Raisin Bagel

Ingredients
1 wholemeal bagel thin/slim
1 tablespoon mapel syrup/honey
1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon sultanas/raisins

Method
- Toast the bagel slim until lightly golden.
- Pour half a tablespoon of mapel syrup on one side of the toasted bagel and the other half of a tablespoon onto the other side of the toasted bagel.
- Disperse the ground cinnamon evenly over both side of the bagel.
- Then, finally, evenly distribute the sultanas over both sides of the toasted bagel.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Peanut Butter & Banana New York Bagel

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


This recipe is my version of a New York bagel, made into a breakfast option (rather than a lunch option) and made much healthier (opposed to the refined, white carbohydrate laden bagels that are usually  presented to us in cafes, restaurants and supermarkets). There are a number of swaps that I made in order to ensure that this breakfast bagel was as good for us as possible. 

First of all, I swapped the usual white bagel for a wholemeal bagel thin/slim. You can buy these bagel thins in most supermarkets. A wholemeal bagel thin has just 120 calories and is packed full of fibre to keep us full for a long time. However, if you can't find bagel thins, you can use an ordinary 100% wholemeal bagel. These too, are packed full of fibre and loads of good things, but will set you back around 250 calories, before adding any of the toppings. 

I swapped traditional savoury toppings (like cream cheese and smoked salmon) for 'sweet' breakfast inspired ones. I used a crunchy peanut butter (the brand I use is the health food brand; Kelkin) and a sliced banana. You probably all know by now how obsessed I am with the peanut butter and banana flavour combination! It just tastes amazing and is perfect for breakfast time. Anyone who I have encouraged to try this combination has completely agreed with me. So, I'm certain that you will too. 


Peanut Butter & Banana New York Bagel

Ingredients
1 wholemeal bagel thin/slim 
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1 banana

Method
- Toast the bagel thin/slim until lightly golden.
- Measure out the peanut butter and spread it onto one side of the toasted bagel.
- Slice a banana into even sized coins and place them on top of the peanut butter. 
- Place the other side of the toasted bagel on top of the banana, cut the bagel in half and enjoy. 

Keep an eye out for the next few posts that I will be adding to the blog over the next few days. I have been nominated to complete The Liebster Award by a fellow breakfast blogger and I can not wait to post my response. So stay tuned!

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Peanut Butter & Jelly Banana Bites

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


I'm so sorry for not posting in a while. The last week or so has been just so hectic. We moved apartments and between packing, moving stuff, cleaning and unpacking, it just seemed endless. Also, I've had to stay at my mam's house for the last week or so while we were moving furniture. But now, finally, things are starting to settle and get back to normal again. So, for me, that means being able to post a recipe daily again. Yay!

This recipe is a pefectly balanced snack recipe. Combining a banana with crunchy peanut butter and sugar free jam, is just a match made in food heaven (the Americans sure know what they're talking about when it comes to flavour combinations). As always, choose a penaut butter with the least amount of ingredients as possible and always ensure that the brand that you choose does not contain any sugar or unhealthy oils. When it comes to your jam choice, choose an all natural sugar free jam. That means that the jam is sweetened naturally using grape juice, usually.


Peanut Butter & Jelly Banana Bites

Ingredients
1 banana
4 teaspoons crunchy peanut butter (20g)
4 teaspoons all natural sugar free raspberry jam

Method
- Peel and slice the banana into equal sized coins. - Lay four of the banana coins flat on a plate, and add 1 level teaspoon of peanut butter to each of them.
- Then add 1 level teaspoon of sugar free jam on top of the peanut butter.
- Place four more banana coins on top of the jam, and press down to sandwich the slices of banana together.
- Eat any additional slices of banana that were not used for the peanut butter & jelly banana bites (cooks perk!).

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Pineapple Smoothie

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Paleo - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt
 
 
This is a very simple but delicious smoothie recipe. It just tastes so tropical, perfect for those hot sunny days we've been lucky to have this summer here in Ireland. I used tinned pineapple for this recipe. And one serving of tinned pineapple is generally three to four pineapple rings. I used three rings here. But, of course you can use a fresh pineapple. One serving of a fresh pineapple is a quarter of a pineapple, peeled and cored. Because I used tinned pineapple, I like to use the tinning juice, as I am a big advocate for making use and not waste. And I always ensure to buy pineapple tinned in 100% pure pineapple juice, not just for health reasons (avoiding added sugars and what not), but I can then make sure that I will be able to use every bit which comes in the can. If your using fresh pineapple, and therefore, do not have any tinning juices, you can use pure grape juice instead (it's so naturally sweet) or just unsweetened almond milk or whatever your milk of choice is. With all that explained, on with the recipe.


Pineapple Smoothie

Ingredients
1 banana
1 serving fresh/tinned pineapple
1/4 cup 100% pure pineapple juice/unsweetened almond milk


Method
- Chop the banana and the pineapple into chunks and add the pieces to a blender, food processor or a wide and tall jug if you are using a hand-held immersion blender (like me).
- Pour over the pineapple juice or alternatively, the almond milk.
- Blend until completely smooth.
- Smoothies are best served and enjoyed immediately.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

'Nutella' Filled Strawberries

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

I put the word Nutella in inverted commas for the title of this post because I didn't atually use Nutella to fill these strawberries. I used a dark chocolate hazelnut spread. The brand I used is called Keen and the only ingredients are hazelnuts and 85% dark chocolate. I got this spread from the webiste Body First Nutrition, which is a health food and supplements online store. But you should be able to find this particular spread in many health food shops. Of course, if you don't mind consuming dairy and a bit of sugar, use actual Nutella for this recipe. Just be sure to stick to the serving suggestion which is between 15 and 30 grams. Which is 1 to 2 tablespoons.

Because the serving suggestion for my dark chocolate hazelnut spread is 1 tablespoon, I dispersed the spread evenly between four strawberries. But if you are using 2 tablespoons of Nutella, you can use up to eight strawberries to desperse the spread. Eight large strawberries is a one single serving of strawberries (which is good to know).

This recipe is really yummy! The fruity-ness and the sweetness of the strawberries really brings out the chocolatey-ness and the flavour of the dark chococlate hazelnut spread. It's like a match made in food heaven.


'Nutella' Filled Strawberries

Ingredients
4 - 8 large strawberries
1 tablespoon dark chocolate hazelnut spread

Method
- Cut the ends of the strawberries, so they can stand upright on a plate.
- Remove the green leafy part of the strawberry.
- Using a small, sharp knife, create a wide and deep hole in the top of the strawberry.
- Evenly disperse the tablespoon of dark chocolate hazelnut spread between all of the strawberries.
- Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour before serving.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Vanilla Protein Yoghurt

Vegan - Vegetarian - Gluten Free - Dairy Free - Oil Free - No Added Sugar - No Added Salt
 
Since starting my new strength and conditioning programme a few weeks ago to try and build some muscle mass (I am seeing some improvements by the way), I've been making a real effort to include some form of protein in every meal. Be it in the form of meat, fish, eggs, beans and other legumes, nut or nut butters, soy products or my protein powder.

I mentioned in a previous post that the protein powder that I use is an all natural soya protein powder. However, I have found since using this protein powder, that it has been disrupting my digestion. For this reason, I have stopped taking the protein powder and have ordered a new protein powder, a fully vegan and raw protein powder made solely out of grains and legumes, which is soy free. Soy doesn't normally react badly with my system at all, since I regularly consume other soy products such as natural soy yoghurt and unsweetened soy milk. But for some reason, this soy protein just didn't agree with me. However, if you don't have such a senstive digestive system like me, I would definitely recommend an all natural soy protein powder to you as it is so easy to incorporate into lots of different foods, both sweet and savoury and also, is not easily detectable within the food you add it too. I will also let you all know how my system reacts to my new fully vegan and raw protein powder once it arrives.

Natural soy yoghurt (or a natural dairy variety) already contains a fair amount of protein. In one serving of natural soy yoghurt, that's half a cup, you will get 5 grams of protein. Now, to up the protein anti, I added one serving (10 grams/2 teaspoons) of my all natural soya protein to my natural soy yoghurt. This meant that I was then getting 14 grams of protein in this single bowl of yoghurt. Pretty awesome right? Then, just to add some flavour, I added natural vanilla extract to my yoghurt. I didn't add any sweeteners, as I really enjoy the natural taste of foods. But if your a suckler for some sweetness, I would recommend adding agave nectar to sweeten the yoghurt, as it is a nutral tasting healthy liquid sweetener. Finally, top your vanilla protein yoghurt with any toppings of your choice. I topped mine with chunks of pineapple. Yum!


Vanilla Protein Yoghurt

Ingredients
1/2 cup natural soy yoghurt
1 serving all natural soya protein powder (10g)
1/4-1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Liquid sweetener (optional)
Toppings of choice

Method
- Measure out 1/2 a cup of natural soy yoghurt (or dairy alternative) into a bowl.
- Measure out one serving of your chosen natural protein powder and stir this into the yoghurt until it is thoroughly incorporated.
- Add the vanilla extract and optional liquid sweetener at this stage and mix this into the yoghurt until combined.
- Top the yoghurt off with any topping of your choice.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Black Forest Gateau Toasted Sandwich

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


Are you a fan of the classic cake, a black forest gateau? Well, to be honest, I never was a huge fan of this particular cake. I don't know why, I just never really liked the combination of flavours and textures. But when ever I create a black forest gateau inspired healthy breakfast recipe (like my recipe for black forest gateau porridge), it's always one of my favourites. The combination of black forest gateau inspired flavours with the use of healthy ingredients truly is just delicious. Trust me! Now, for those of you who may not know what flavours are contained wihtin a black forest gateau cake, I will enlighten you. Black forest gateau is the combination of chocolate, cherry jam, fresh cherries and coconut.

Now, for my healthy version of a black forest gateau cake, but in the form of a toasted sandwich, you will need a few ingredients. First of all, two slices of gluten free brown bread. Of course, if you don't mind regularly consuming gluten (I try to avoid it as much as possible), you can simply use two slices of regular 100% wholemeal bread. The brand of gluten free brown bread slices that I use is called Genius and I find that this bread, especially when toasted, is actually much nicer than regular wholemeal bread. Next, you will need a sugar free jam. I use an all natural sugar free raspberry jam which is naturally sweetened using grape juice. The brand I use is called Follain. If you can't find a sugar free jam without artifical nasties, you can always make your own. Use my recipe for my no-cook sugar free raspberry jam. You do not need to use a cherry jam for this recipe, as they are often difficult to find anyways. You will also need a chocolate spread of some discription. I used a dark chocolate hazelnut spread for my sandwich. The brand I used is called Keen and you can find it in most health food shops or online. However, if you can't find a healthy hazelnut spread, you can always just melt one serving of 70% dark chocolte and use that you spread onto your toasted sandwich. Or, if you don't mind consuming dairy and some sugar, you can always use the well know hazelnut spread, Nutella. Just make sure to stick to the serving suggestion! Finally, you will need unsweetened shredded or desicated coconut.


Black Forest Gateau Toasted Sandwich

Ingredients
2 slices gluten free brown bread
1 tablespoon all natural sugar free raspberry jam
1 tablespoon dark chocolate hazelnut spread
1 - 2 teaspoons unsweetened desicated coconut

Method
- Toast the slices of gluten free brown bread until golden brown using a toaster or grill.
- Spread the jam onto one of the slices of bread.
- Spread the dark chocolate hazelnut spread onto the other slice of bread.
- Evenly sprinkle the desicated coconut onto the slice of bread coated with chocolate spread.
- Place the slice of bread with jam on top of the chocolate and coconut slice.
- Cut the sandwich in half and serve and consume immediately.