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?

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

Chocolate ‘Nice-cream’ For Breakfast (Vegan)

My latest obsession is “nice-cream.” It’s as creamy and delicious as regular ice cream, but it has all the health benefits as well.

If you don’t know what nice cream is, let me help you. It’s a rich, creamy concoction that tastes like ice cream but is made from all the good stuff. It has 32g of protein, and 1g of sugar.

After many mornings whizzing up different blends, I’ve finally mastered my chocolate mousse nice cream. It’s ultimately an ultra filling dessert, but you can also eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

You will need: 

  • 1 chopped, frozen banana (I like to buy about 5 bananas at the start of the week, and then chop and freeze them all at once to save time). 
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 30g Amazonia Raw Protein (chocolate or vanilla flavour works well)
  • 0.5 tbsp cinnamon (did you know cinnamon curbs sugar cravings?)
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp cacao nibs 
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

And that’s it! Just blend until you get a thick, creamy consistency. You might have blend a little, stir it, and then blend some more to make it all come together.

I top with different things every day. My favourites lately have been lower glycemic fruits like chopped apple, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, and then sunflower seeds or cacao nibs for some crunch!

Nutrition Facts

Here’s the macronutrient breakdown compared to 2 scoops of regular chocolate gelato:

Bowl of Chocolate
Nice-Cream
Chocolate Gelato
Calories320444
Protein32g8g
Fat16g28g
Carbs37g42g
Sugar 1g40g
Fibre8g0g

Food Places you MUST try in Byron Bay, Australia

Last week I travelled with my best friend to Byron Bay – a beachside town in New South Wales, Australia, known for it’s laid back beach & hippie culture. We purposely booked this trip over Valentines Day, as a cheeky ‘romantic’ getaway for the two of us.

I’ve traveled with friends and family to Byron many times, but this was the first time I noticed HOW DELICIOUS and diverse all the food options were.

They have everything – vegan cafes, vegetarian restaurants, chocolaterie’s, wholefood cafes, Egyptian cuisine, fancy bars, Contemporary Australian cuisine, Indian takeaway, Asian fusion, Japanese dining, pizza and pasta… the list goes on.

What I was especially amazed by was how easy it was to eat healthy. With green juices, fresh coconuts, protein balls, fresh fruit, and superfood slices, on offer all over the place, I was spoiled for choice.

Breakfast

Safya Cafe

Safya Cafe serves Egyptian inspired dishes, in a beautiful spot where the ocean breeze flows right in. We went here three times for breakfast (because I could not get enough of their avo/dukkah toast & dandelion latte), but they also do a delicious lunch and dinner menu.

Bayleaf Cafe

If you want to enjoy the contemporary Australian brunch scene, head to Bayleaf. They offer all-day brekkie options in a beach-shack setting. Think house-made bircher, corn fritter stacks, and dill/salmon eggs. The place was packed for a reason.

Lunch/Dinner

Balcony Bar & Oyster Co

$1.50 oyster specials, daily sunset happy hour, live music, and $12 Espresso Martini’s – you can’t say no. Obviously we went for the oyster deal and then finished the night with an abundance of cocktails, a King Crab Salad and Lamb/Beef Pappardelle.

The Mez Club

We booked this for the night of Valentine’s day and readied ourselves for a Mediterranean feast. O went all out and ordered the Share Mezze Platter (for herself..), which hosted kofte balls, hummus, pita bread, oven-roasted tomatoes, falafels and more. I went for two dishes; stuffed bell peppers (with basmati rice/whipped fetta/dukkah) and the lamb kofte balls. Safe to say both were delightful.

Dessert

Byron is known for organic/wholefood food spots that do mouth-watering raw treats like vegan strawberry cream and caramel donuts. Check out Combi and Fundies Wholefood Cafe if that’s your thing.

However, if I’m having dessert I’m always going to have chocolate or ice cream. Safe to say we had more than our fair share of In The Pink gelato that week.

They are constantly introducing eclectic flavours like strawberry chocolate fudge, Nutella caramel, Gingerbread, and Orange Sorbet. On the last night I treated myself to a double scoop of chocolate fudge and Nutella caramel.

xx

P.s. if chocolate is your thing – be sure to check out Love Byron Bay – Crêperie & Chocolate Boutique.

Rich Chocolate Protein Bites (V)

This summer I’ve been seeking out protein balls/bites/bars wherever I go. This could be due to my constant snack cravings, or because they are freaking moreish.

Either way, my recent obsession has prompted the careful creation of a rich, chocolatey recipe that combines all my favourite protein ball ingredients in one.

Cacao is a dream ingredient because of all the health benefits it provides. Not only it is a powerful source of antioxidants, I recently found out it contains anandamide, which targets receptors in the brain to balance mood swings.

This makes 10 bites:

You will need:

To make: Combine all ingredients in a bowl, squish it into a square pan and chill in the fridge.

To serve, you can make cute little designs on the square bites, e.g. with almonds, desiccated coconut, crumbled peanuts, or whatever floats your boat.

These little guys have around 10g of protein in them.. yet they taste like chocolate cookie dough. ENJOY!

Do you have a protein treat you swear by?

Delicious Healthy Hot Chocolate Recipe

Christmas is coming… and although its the time to indulge in all your favourite treats, I love to have some healthy dessert alternatives that I can enjoy without experiencing the mood swings and skin breakouts that excess sugar gives me. See the science behind this here.

When curating the ingredients for my healthy hot chocolate, my goal was to get that rich chocolate flavour whilst avoiding added sugar. The drink is around 50 calories per serving.

The recipe requires pure cacao powder, which is rich in polyphenols providing some key health benefits: reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and lowering blood sugar levels.

You will need: 

Method:

  1. Add cacao, milk, vanilla essence, cinnamon, nutmeg and maple syrup to a pot and bring to a simmer 
  2. Pinch the mint leaves until limp and throw into the pot
  3. Stir all ingredients until mixture is warm and powders are well combined (2-3 minutes) 
  4. Take mint leaves out of the top of the drink and discard (or leave in for something extra on top
  5. Garnish with chopped healthy marshmallows

Let me know if you try it out! Enjoy! 

xx

Trying the Best Korean BBQ in Sydney

Madang. The Korean BBQ restaurant that’s revered in Sydney. I had to try it.

In Korean BBQ you get given deliciously marinated raw meats (of your choosing) and 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 such as spicy kimchi and seaweed, potato mash, soy paste, fish cake, miso paste and more.

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). The table service was very attentive, and I would recommend the tender Bul Go Gi and Jang Uh Gui Jungsik. The pork wasn’t my thing, I had a couple of bites and didn’t’ LOVE it.

This was a lot of meat (and therefore a lot of protein) to have in one meal, so if you’re planning on heading to Korean BBQ for dinner prepare your stomach by making your other meals that day a little smaller (I forgot to do this and afterwards felt like I was going to pop from all the food inside).

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. Seoul-Ria, Basax Korean Chicken and Dining and Arisun are on my ‘to go to’ list.

I finished off the night with and an epic froyo. Imagine this: chocolate and strawberry frozen yoghurt, loaded with cookie dough, chocolate chips, tim tams, oreos, chocolate wafers, and strawberries. Mouthwatering? 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).

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***

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

Usually, I try to make a natural ingredients cake with cacao, banana, and maple syrup (a delicious recipe I will share soon). However, this day nostalgia was calling me and I whipped up my childhood favourite: Betty Crocker Devil’s Food Cake mix.

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 it was so satisfying to sit on the couch afterwards savouring a big piece with a cup of tea.

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Comment below if you did anything spontaneous this week!

xx

Healthy Almond-Cacao Protein Balls

Protein balls are a fantastic, filling, healthy snack. Just try not to eat all of them on one go (they are very moreish).

I use coconut oil because it much more filling compared to lots of other cooking oils, and also helps stick them together. Alternatively you could mix up the flavours and use peanut butter instead.

Each ball has about 205 calories and is dense with healthy fats and protein to make it the perfect snack.

My recipe makes 5. You will need:

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 1/3 cup chia seeds
  • 50g sultanas
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil

Method:

  1. Put all dry ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Put peanut butter and coconut oil in the microwave for 1 minute
  3. Pour peanut butter/coconut oil mixture into dry ingredients and mix with spoon.
  4. Using your hands form the mixture into 5 little protein balls
  5. Place in fridge for an hour
  6. Enjoy!

xx

Let me know if you try the recipe out!

Carrot Cake Tea Party for Easter

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 family.

I’ve always loved carrot cake, but I thought Carrot Cake Cupcakes are the perfect bite size to still enjoy the carroty-cinnamony flavour.

It’s a well-known wives tale that carrots improve eyesight. Whilst incorporating carrots into your diet won’t give you 20/20 vision, they do have vitamin K1, potassium and antioxidants which improve eye health. Cinnamon is a fantastic spice for flavour, but it also has anti-inflammatory properties which boost immune!

I iced these cupcakes with Betty Crocker Vanilla Icing (because it reminds me of my childhood), but they are also delicious with cream cheese icing ← my go-to recipe.

I decorated the cupcakes with edible mini wafer flowers and served them with warmed hot cross buns, chocolate mini easter eggs and French Earl Grey Tea. Delicious!

Recipe (makes 6)

You will need:

  • 2/3 cup self-raising flour
  • 1/3 cup caster sugar (or maple syrup for a less processed sweetener)
  • 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 a separate bowl and then mix in with all ingredients
  5. Pour mixture in patty pans (about 2/3 full)
  6. Bake for 18 minutes
Image 2

Then enjoy!! Happy Easter!

xx

Christmassy Gingerbread Truffles

These are one of the easiest, tastiest and most MOREISH Christmas treats to make.

I love Christmas because its an excuse to incorporate ginger into nearly every dessert I have. Whilst gingerbread isn’t the healthiest way to incorporate ginger, it’s the time of year to indulge and enjoy things you might not usually have.

Having said that, ginger does have many wonderful benefits. As it is an anti-inflammatory it reduces cell damage and it also aids digestion by settling the stomach.

For my truffles, I used one packet of gingersnaps, half a tub of cream cheese (Sheese for dairy-free option), chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon, 1 tbsp icing sugar and cream (or coconut cream).

After blending the gingersnaps into a fine powder using my NutriBullet, I added a dollop of cream cheese and kneaded the mixture with my fingers to create a cookie dough texture.

Then, I used my hands to create 8 round little truffle balls and laid them out on a plate. Placing them in the fridge for 15 minutes, I waited for them to cool whilst whisking up a spoon of cream cheese, 3 tbsp cream and 1 tbsp icing sugar into an icing paste. After taking them out the fridge I spread the icing on top and garnished the truffles with the chocolate sprinkles and cinnamon.

This recipe is so easy to whip up quickly for friends and family. It has really thrown me into the Christmas spirit. If you are tracking macros – each serving has 190 calories, and 7.5g of sugar.

gingernut treats.jpg

Merry Christmas!

xx

Calories don’t Count on Christmas! Mince Pies and Mulled Wine for Breakfast.

Merry Christmas!

After stuffing myself silly with turkey, ham, pumpkin, potato, feta salad, veggies, custard, mince pies and truffles, on Christmas Eve, I woke up this morning to a tree full of presents and a slightly-less eager family who just wanted to sleep in. 

Luckily I managed to get them out of bed by 9 am – motivating them mainly with warm, fruit-mince tarts that I freshly baked. 

Earlier in the morning I was inspired by a recipe in my Mum’s old Donna Hay cookbook. 

First I prepared the filling, by combining the following in a bowl and set it aside in the fridge: 

  • 1 cup Granny Smith Apples, finely chopped
  • Pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon
  • Dash of Brandy
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 3 tsp lemon rind
  • 50g butter melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup orange juice

Whilst waiting for that to chill, I used cookie cutters to cut little circles in shortcrust pastry and place them into greased cupcake baking trays. Then I prepared my star toppings using a smaller star cookie cutter. 

After the hour was up I took the filling out the fridge and distributed it into the moulds. I placed the little star cutouts on top of each one and brushed them all with melted butter. 

Then, I popped them into the oven (160C/320F) for 25-30 minutes. 

Everyone enjoyed fruit mince pies, gourmet chocolate truffles (from Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates – a boutique chocolate shop in Sydney’s Inner West), and mulled wine whilst opening presents.

I got very spoilt this Christmas, and got a Mimco Supernatural Medium Pouch, some cute Kikki K stationary and the Antler Aire Large Suitcase

Clearly I was spoilt by family and friends – hope you had a wonderful Christmas and got everything you wished for!

xx