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.
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 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!
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.
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.
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.
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 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup self-raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sprinkle of salt
1/4 cup olive oil (be ready to add more in case your mixture is too dry)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sultanas
2 medium carrots grated
1/3 cup pepitas
2 tbsp maple syrup
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!
Okay find your stretchy pants and prepare yourself for the treat of the year.
So everyone knows I have a huge choccy obsession, and to satisfy my latest cravings I decided to create the ultimate Freakshake (looks delicious, I know). For those of you who don’t know what a Freakshake is (don’t worry I too only discovered this incredible dessert very recently) it’s basically a thickshake that has added extras to make it completely over the top, and so naturally, even better.
It’s very easy to whip up which makes it the perfect quick treat for a party, special occasion or (in my case) a midnight snack.
You will need:
Tiramisu Kit Kat
Plain regular donuts (you can choose donuts with toppings, but I found this to be too intense and overwhelmingly rich).
1 cup full cream milk
2 tbsp Cocoa powder
Jumbo party straws
Fancy milkshake glass
Pop three generous scoops of ice cream, the milk and the cocoa powder into a blender, and whip together.
Pour the mixture into the milkshake glass, until about 3/4 full. Fill up the rest of the glass with whipped cream.
Decorate away ~ go crazy poking the choccies into whipped cream.
Slide the donuts onto the straws and pop in (make sure to do this before the straws are in the shake, or as you fiddle it will overflow).
And it’s as easy as that. There’s your perfect dessert for a cheeky cheat day.
Keeping up the motivation to workout every day is tough and it’s even harder when I’m traveling. Usually, when I’m on holiday all I want to do after a day of sight-seeing is crash on the hotel bed.
However, exercising is so integral to making me feel good that I try to squeeze in at least 30 minutes (burns roughly 300 calories) of exercise per travel day. Instead of relying on the hotels having a gym, I either choose to work out to a particular fitness video, or I do Tabata training.
Tabata training is a Japanese workout method that features doing high intensity interval training for short periods of time, with shorter rest. There are lots of different Tabata workouts, but I like the one I have created because it works my whole body:
For each set (each number), there are 5 repetitions, 20 seconds each with 10 seconds rest.
Jumps (getting your knees to your chest)
This whole workout is quite short, which is perfect for squeezing in when travelling, and can be done in your hotel room in front of the TV because it doesn’t rely on equipment. If you want to work yourself for longer, obviously you can do more reps or do the whole workout twice through.
If I am feeling like a more intense workout or I need a source of motivation I use a video I have downloaded onto my phone from Youtube. There are thousands of workout videos on Youtube, but this particular video is my favourite because the personal trainers are really positive and encouraging, which is great because I have zero motivation for fitness when I’ve spent the day relaxing.
Again this workout doesn’t require any equipment, which is essential because who wants to fill up their suitcase with 10kg of weights.
I know it’s really tough to exercise on holiday but I find it does leave me feeling happier and healthier, and more excited to try all the exotic meals I’m buying.
Of course, my favourite saying came out to play again this year – there are no calories on Christmas.
I started off the day with a cheeky candy cane cookie (Vegan recipe – my friend made them for me) and a T2 Choc Chip Chai with soy milk.
Traditionally my family has celebrated Christmas Day by opening presents in the morning, and then having a large Christmas lunch, which always becomes dinner as well because we all sit around talking into the night.
So, in order to save room for the huge Christmas lunch to come, I busied myself making a Bread & Butter Pudding. The whole ‘distract yourself so you save room for lunch’ thing was a bit of a flop because I ate half the pudding as I was making it.. worth it though.
For starters we had assorted cheeses (Camembert, Brie, Cheddar) with biscuits, salami slices, bread sticks, beef jerky sticks, chopped veggies with avocado dip and tomato relish. These were savoured with mulled wine, pina coladas and champagne.
At the main meal there was an array of dishes but I had some smoked ham, roast chicken and prawns. We also had a quinoa, kale and roast beetroot salad that I made.
By desert I was so full but made room for some bread pudding, a bit of traditional Christmas pudding soaked in Brandy, and a fruit salad with custard/vanilla ice cream.
Despite the food coma I had a huge treat myself and such a wonderful day.
Merry Christmas! I hope everyone had a lovely day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not.