Avocado Brownies?? You’re missing out if you haven’t had these

There’s no denying that avocado is the best breakfast/lunch/dinner/snack food available.

But who says it can’t be used as a dessert?

Certainly not me (says me and my huge sweet tooth)

Recently I have been playing around with avocado based desserts, and I took inspiration from a post I saw for brownies made for the Ketogenic diet (high fat/protein, low carb).

I ended up modifying the recipe – more towards my taste preferences – and since I’m not following the keto diet, I did add in some honey (which you might want to swap for monk fruit or stevia, if you are looking for lower carb options).

I will admit my first go was very underwhelming. I completely missed the mark on the sweetness, so brownies tasted more like buttery dirt.

But, practice makes perfect, and after many flops I have formulated a avo-brownie recipe that is undeniably healthy. You will need:

  1. 1 medium avocado
  2. 1/4 cup nut butter – I love peanut Mayver’s butter
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  5. 1/2 cup cacao powder
  6. Cinnamon
  7. 1 tsp baking soda
  8. 3 tbsp cacao nibs
  9. 2 tbsp warm honey (less sticky)

Mix everything (except cacao nibs) together in a blender until it is smooth and creamy, and press into a brownie pan. Sprinkle the cacao nibs and cinnamon on top.

Pop into an oven at 180˚C and bake for 20 mins.

Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Macro-nutrients1 serving of avo-brownie
(recipe makes 12)
Calories150
Protein4g
Carbohydrates7g
Sugar3g
Fat12g

Can you believe it? Healthy Cinnabon Rolls

Okay, so I think we all know Cinnabon’s aren’t the definition of health. But, I wanted to devise a recipe which was just as yummy, but didn’t use up half my daily caloric intake (the average store-bought cinnabon has 880 calories).

When my cinnabon craving first hit, I was scrolling through recipes that took about 3 hours to prepare and bake. That was simply too long and I knew I had to find a (cheaters) quicker version.

So, here’s the cheat sheet to my 45 minute, Plant Based (and still delicious) Cinnabons:

Dough: 

  • 2.75 cups of all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package instant yeast = 2.25 teaspoons
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp ground chia seeds + 3 tbsp water

Filling:

  • 0.5 cup pureed dates (1/4 cup water)
  • 1/2 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 1 medium apple finely chopped
  • coconut oil as a base

Time: 45 minutes, Serves: 8, Calories: 294 each.

Method: 

preheat oven to 100C

mix flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a bowl

heat water, almond milk and coconut oil in the microwave for 30 seconds

add chia seeds, milk/oil mixture and flour mixture together and knead with hands until dough forms – set aside for 5 minutes

Roll out the dough on baking paper into a rectangle

Spread the coconut oil and pureed dates on the rolled out dough

Sprinkle the apple and almonds on top

Roll the dough into a log, and cut into 8 even segments

Put each segment into greased baking tins.

Put into the oven, and turn the oven off. Leave in rolls there for 20 minutes.

Turn the oven to 200C and bake for 20 mins

xx

Clare

My XMAS Salted Caramel & Choc Chip Cookies

These did come out looking more like Patrick Star than Xmas creations, but they tasted better than you can imagine.

Okay so yes I used a store bought packet mix (Betty Crocker wins every time) as the base, but, there was a twist. For a sprinkle of Christmassy festivity, I added a hint of smooth choccy flavour by adding chocolate chips to the dough, and created star designs with specific cookie cutters.

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Read on if you’re interested in my simple, yet divinely tasty XMAS cookies, or better, create them yourself in 20 minutes.

Gather the following:

  • Betty Crocker Salted Carmel Packet Cookie Mix
    • Note: This is limited edition packet mix – hence why I grabbed it in Woolworths. If you aren’t able to get your hands on it, try adding Hershey’s caramel choc chips to a plain cookie recipe.
  • Cadbury choc chip cookies
  • Butter
  • 1 Egg
  • Star cookie cutter

Okay, so the method:

Mix all the ingredients together, until you form a cookie dough.

Use a rolling pin to knead the dough out on top of an acrylic/plastic/stone surface.

Here’s where it got a little more complicated. I’m currently experiencing an Australian summer, so naturally the sun was beating down at 30˚C, which made all my cookie dough melt and stick to my hands. So, I wrapped it in cling wrap and popped it in the freezer for 5 mins to make it think it was in the northern hemisphere. Note: this might be a good idea if you are in a hot climate.

Cut little star shapes out with the cookie cutter.

As the cookie cutter will make the raw cookies a lot thinner and smaller than Betty Crocker recommends for cookie sizing, you only have to place them in the oven for 8 minutes at 180˚C (350˚F), so they don’t burn.

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Once cooked, place them on a plate and awkwardly place a rogue Christmas decoration next to them for aesthetic purposes (I’m kidding). 

The perfect Christmas snack.

 

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Caramel brown

xx

 

 

Trying the Best Korean BBQ in Sydney & MIDNIGHT Baking…

Madang. The Korean BBQ restaurant thats revered in Sydney. I had to try it.

For those that don’t know, Korean BBQ is where you get given deliciously marinated raw meats (of your choosing) and get to cook them at the dinner table. Yep, your table turns into a frying pan, where you whip up your meal and garnish it with lots of tasty condiments including spicy kimchi and seaweed, potato mash, soy paste, fish cake, miso paste and more.

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You could be very adventurous and get sliced ox tongue, but since my dining partner screwed her nose up at that, we opted to share Dweji Bul Go Gi (marinated pork) and Bul Go Gi (beef in traditional Korean sauce), with the Jang Uh Gui Jungsik (grilled & marinated eel). My final verdict was that the table service was fantastically attentive, and I could not fault the tender, juicy  Bul Go Gi and Jang Uh Gui Jungsik, but the pork made me feel a little funny so I only tried a few pieces.

This was a lot of meat to take in for one day, so if you’re planning on heading to Korean BBQ for dinner maybe prepare your stomach by making your other meals that day a little smaller (I forgot to do this and didn’t feel great walking home because I was so full, but as always, no regrets).

It was also so exciting to walk out the restaurant and realise that Madang is located in the middle of a little Korea-town. Left, right and centre there were  Korean restaurants dotted about that I’m now dying to try out (I’ll keep you updated with my Korean cuisine tasting adventures).

We finished off the night with an epic froyo. I forgot to snap a pic of it, but imagine this: chocolate and strawberry frozen yogurt, loaded up with cookie dough, chocolate chips, tim tams, oreos, chocolate wafers, and strawberries. Mouth watering? I thought so.

Note: Madang was said to be the best by The Urban List, one of my go-to sources for dining information around the city (you have to check it out if you are in Sydney).

***

I also had a random craving for chocolate cake this week.

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I don’t know where the urge came from, but suddenly I was taking myself up and out of bed, disregarding the fact that I had already brushed my teeth, and into the pantry to find the Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix.

This cake gives me serious nostalgia because throws me straight back to being about six or seven and baking it on a Sunday afternoon with mum. Betty Crocker Cakes have a unique taste, and anyone who’s grown up with her cake mixes knows that Betty Crocker Icing is, without a doubt, the best.

It was so much fun to just splurge and spontaneously treat myself by baking a simple cake for no occasion. I finished decorating it around 1:00am and I can’t express the satisfaction of sitting on the couch afterward savouring a big piece with a cup of tea.

Comment below if you did anything spontaneous this week!

xx

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Calypso Blue for spontaneity

 

 

Banana and Almond Muffins? Yes pleaaassee | Recipe

You know when you have that sudden craving to bake? Well I experienced this at about 11pm last night and I just had to go with it.

I usually head straight for the cacao and medjool dates to make something super chocolatey-infused, gooey and sweet, but for some reason today my eye caught the two overripe bananas that were sitting on the kitchen ledge.

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So, I preheated the oven to 180˚C and gathered together what I could find in the pantry for my filling banana and almond muffins. These can be made vegan and are gluten free.

I found:

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • Sprinkle of salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs (use an egg replacer for the vegan option)
  • 2 bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp almond milk (or any milk of your choosing)

I just popped the dry ingredients into a blender, whisked them together (make sure the oats are ground into a fine powder) and poured them into a bowl. Then I blended the wet ingredients together to form a runny mixture, which I combined in the bowl with the dry ingredients.

Next I mixed all the ingredients together in the bowl, and placed about 2 heaped spoonfuls of mixture into 8 lined cupcake tins. All they needed was around 30 minutes in the oven (check with a skewer – no mixture residue should be on it when you poke it through the middle of a muffin), and they were done. Voila!

xx

Nutritional Breakdown (per serve):

  • 137 calories/572 kilojoules
  • 5.0g Protein
  • 8.5g Fat (0.8g Saturated)
  • 9.0g Carbs
  • 43mg Sodium

My 5 Go-to Healthy Snacks

Hey guys!

I’ve been trying to cut down (healthily) a little on what I eat recently, and I realised that I’ve been picking up weight because I’m constantly nibbling on different things in the pantry.

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So, to make sure I stay full throughout the day I have 5 go-to snacks in the fridge/food cupboard which are filling AND yummy.

These are:

  • Carrot sticks & Pilpel Hummous – carrot has to be my favourite veggie because of its sweetness, and Pilpel Hummous is my go-to because it has so much flavour but doesn’t have garlic in it (garlic upsets my stomach).
  • Dried fruit/nut mix – handful of pecans, pepitas, dried apricots, sultanas and walnuts. The fruits give you that sweet satisfaction and the nuts fill you up.
  • Apple & Carman’s Nut Bar – Carman’s does such a great range of healthy muesli bars, if your local supermarket stocks them I would definitely recommend checking them out. They are the perfect snack, and funnily enough I got up at 2am the other night because my stomach was rumbling, and a Carmen’s nut bar was the perfect fix to send me back to sleep.
  • Popcorn – try to avoid popcorns that are doused in butter, just plain corn kernels will do the trick.
  • My sugarless carrot/oatmeal cookies – they say ‘sugarless’ but don’t worry maple syrup and sultanas make them just as yummy as regular cookies.

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Sugarless Carrot/Oatmeal Cookies Recipe

I have been making batches of these for longer than I can remember because they are the perfect moreish snack, especially when I’m on the go.

You will need:

  1. 1 cup rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup self-raising flour
  3. 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  4. Sprinkle of salt
  5. 1/4 cup olive oil (be ready to add more in case your mixture is too dry)
  6. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  7. 1/2 cup sultanas
  8. 2 medium carrots grated
  9. 1/3 cup pepitas
  10. 2 tbsp maple syrup
  11. Handful of pecans (to decorate)

Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Mix the oats, flour, cinnamon, salt, sultanas, grated carrots and pepitas together in a large bowl. Then, add the olive oil, vanilla extract and maple syrup and stir to combine. Add extra olive oil until the mixture is a perfect, doughy consistency. Whack in the oven for 15 – 20 minutes (or until golden brown) and voila! You’re done.

I hope you too can enjoy these great snacks. They are especially great if you are looking to maintain a healthy weight and want filling snacks that aren’t completely boring!

xx

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Kimono red for yummy, healthy Snacks

 

 

Baking a GIANT Anzac Cookie

Okay so I know a lot of my past posts have been super food related – and I will diverge from this trend soon, but I couldn’t resist blogging about my GIANT Anzac cookie!

For those non-Australians (or unaware Australians) reading, Anzac Day is a Public holiday held in commemoration of the first military action initiated by Australian and New Zealand forces in the first world war. Hence, ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Traditionally, we bake Anzac cookies (a sweet biscuit made of rolled oats and syrup) on the day, in memory of the soldier’s staple food which was a hardtack biscuit (no sugar involved) which wouldn’t go mouldy. Obviously, the soldiers didn’t get the yummy, gooey goodness of the Anzac biscuits we bake today, but nevertheless it’s a tradition that goes on. If you are interested in more of the history click here.

Because I love doing things in excess, instead of baking lots of little biscuits, I decided to whip up one giant cookie. If you want to make it yourself, just preheat your oven to 170˚C and mix 150g melted butter, 2 tbsp golden syrup, 1.25 cups of self-raising flour, a dribble of water, 1 cup rolled oats and 1/2 cup caster sugar together. Then use your hands to spread it into a giant cookie and bake for 17 minutes or until golden brown.

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I had a slice of cookie with some hot cocoa in my favourite ‘Life is Beautiful’ Mug. As simple as it is, I love having a funny/inspirational message on my mugs to start the day and this one has to be my favourite.

If you want an fun mug to cheer you up at the start of the day, I recently found these awesome animal ‘life is beautiful’ mugs. You have to admit they are absolutely adorable… if you’re a sucker for cute things like me. They would make a great gift as well!

Here are some more awesome mug designs:

Enjoy!! Have you made ANZAC cookies before? Comment below and we can chat 🙂

xx

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Poppy Red, in commemoration of the ANZAC soldiers

Easter Carrot Cake Cupcakes

This easter long weekend I decided to have an Easter Tea Party to celebrate. It was the perfect morning tea to begin the day with close friends and family.

Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect size to enjoy the carrot-cinnamon flavour, without feeling ill off a massive piece of cake. I do my Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it really is the tastiest), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← I’ll link my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers (which you can buy at most supermarkets) and complemented the cupcakes with warmed hot cross buns, choccy eggs and Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 grated large carrot or 1 grated medium carrot
  • 1 egg

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180˚C, line a cupcake baking tin with patty pans.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt and baking powder in a large bowl and stir.
  3. Slowly mix in carrot and oil
  4. Beat egg in separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes

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Then enjoy!! Happy Easter everybody, hope you have a lovely weekend whether you celebrate it or not 🙂

xx

Veggie-packed Healthy Frittata

I love Frittata’s because they are delicious, but also because of their versatility – they can be served hot or chilled and for lunch or dinner. My recipe packs in lots of veggies, making the Frittata filling but low in calories. You can ch0oose to mix and match veggies depending on what you feel like (other options are capsicum, regular tomatoes, pumpkin, mushroom & asparagus).

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For a sweet taste and carbs to fill me up, I use sweet potato as the base of the Frittata but this can be substituted for baby potatoes if you prefer. The meal takes about an hour to prepare if you are a slow chopper (like me), but if have a knack for cutting greens it should only take about 30 minutes.

You will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 4 spring onions
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup feta
  • 1 zucchini
  • Pinch of salt
  • 6 of cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200˚C.
  2. Chop up the sweet potatoes and zucchini into cubes and fry in fry-pan with turmeric and olive oil, until golden brown and cooked through.
  3. Chop up the cherry tomatoes, spring onions, feta and basil. Also loosely chop the baby spinach.
  4. Whisk the eggs, milk and salt in a large bowl until smooth. Then stir through the basil.
  5. Put the sweet potatoes and the zucchini fry into the base of a cake tin. Cover with baby spinach, tomatoes and sprinkle with spring onion.
  6. Pour egg mixture over all other ingredients in cake tin, making sure to cover everything.
  7. Cut up feta into small blocks and place on top.
  8. Cook for 25 minutes, or until egg looks bouncy and cooked through (I check by inserting a skewer – make sure it doesn’t come out goopy).

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Voila! Homemade and delicious.

xx

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Egg yolk yellow ~ 8 eggs needed for this dish!

Valentines Day Red Velvet Cake for Two

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Happy Valentines Day!

Here is my super simple recipe for a small Red Velvet cake with Cream Cheese icing that can be shared between two.

This cake is very moist and fluffy, and is a delicious way to end the day spent with a special someone.

You will need:

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  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 7ml red food colouring

Steps:

Preheat oven to 200˚C. In a small bowl place cocoa powder and red food colouring and mix. Add dribbles of water until the mixture becomes a smooth, velvet red paste.

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Pour/sift all remaining ingredients into a large bowl and beat until smooth and fluffy. Then stir in red velvet cocoa paste.

Then you will need to grease the cake tin with butter. I used a small tin, since its a small cake, around 10cm in diameter. Afterwards, pour the mixture into the tin.

Bake for 30 minutes on 200˚C, or take out when the cake has risen significantly and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

For the icing you can make your own cream cheese icing, or you can cheat a little and just use Betty Crockers vanilla icing which goes perfectly with the cake as well!

To make cream cheese icing just beat together 70g cream cheese, 40g unsalted butter softened and 1/2 cup icing sugar. Then ice away. Voila!

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I chose to slice the cake in half horizontally, and then do a layer of icing in the middle. Then, I coated the entire cake with the icing, and pumped little decorations around the base and on the top. Finally, I garnished with chopped fresh strawberries and an edible flower.

This cake is so tasty which makes it great for a special occasion like Valentines Day, or any day of the week you feel like it!

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Enjoy

xx

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Velvet red, for a delicious and easy to make cake for two