Christmas is coming… which means lots of delectable choccy recipes are also coming to this blog. Check out my favourite hot chocolate recipe (for a late night treat) below – only around 100-150 calories depending on what you use…
Christmas is the time to indulge in all your favourites, but there are healthy substitutes for every dessert, that still taste just as good.
You will need:
2 tbsp cacao
1.5 cups plain almond milk
1 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of cinnamon
1/2 – 1 tbsp maple syrup *depending how sweet you like it aka don’t hold back*
Here’s a delicious, nutritious recipe which involves rich, chocolate-ty pancakes…
I jumped on the protein pancake trend pretty quickly, but I will admit at first I was suspicious. I didn’t understand how pancakes could be super satiating, and I was convinced that pancakes had to be a cheat meal – as they aren’t packed with overly nutritious ingredients.
I was shocked to find that each pancake had as low as 100 calories, and the meal itself kept me full until lunch (even with a morning gym session). I loved all the recipes I found on the internet, but I really wanted to craft a recipe that was light, fluffy, and flavourful, as well as densely nutritious. Note: if you don’t have the same connection I did with these fluffy creations – be sure to check out my slightly naughtier, and just as yummy, regular pancakes here.
Protein for Breakfast?? Why is that important?
Protein is an especially important macronutrient for muscle growth, as well as tissue repair and recovery. You want to make sure you are smashing protein in the morning so that your body can use the day to develop and maintain its lean muscle. Protein also helps to keep you full, so eating a healthy amount of it at breakfast time, stops you from getting ravenously hungry at 3-4pm and binging on unhealthy foods in the pantry (trust me, I’ve done this too many times).
The protein powder in the recipe: The protein powder you choose really makes the pancake – so make sure you choose a protein powder you actually enjoy the taste of. Prana Plant Protein and Vida Glow are two of my to-die-for brands, as I really crave a sweeter protein mix, and I prefer plant-based formulas. I love the chocolate variations of both these brands and I am yet to try the other flavours.
I’ve made this recipe GF, DF, low FODMAP to assist anyone with allergies or dietary restrictions – and trust me, it tastes just as good!
You will need:
25g Chocolate Protein Powder
1/3 Cup rolled oats (Use coconut flour for the gluten free option)
100ml almond milk
Pinch of Salt
Pinch of Cinnamon
1 egg or 1 tbsp chia seeds
1/4 tsp baking powder
Vegan butter alternative or coconut oil for cooking
Peanut butter, blueberries, chopped banana for topping.
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:
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
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.
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.
Thankfully its been warm, sunny weather in Sydney, and as we FINALLY turn into Summer and Uni has finished, I’ve been trying to catch up with all my friends whenever I can around work. For some reason (I’m not complaining) the most convenient thing has been brunch.
I’ve been dotting around Sydney trying some good (and not so good) places. There are a couple I would highly recommend.
Flowerchild is a sweet little cafe in both Brookvale and Chatswood and I’ve managed to go to both in the past fortnight. It’s has a dainty and graceful vibe serving up platters that look more like works of art than meals.
I’ve also been having the weirdest scone cravings lately – so I hit up The Tea Cosy in the (iconic) Rocks, where we indulged in cheesy scones with smoked salmon, sour cream and chives, alongside some classic scones with strawberry jam, thick cream and Nanna’s Apple Pie Tea (a fruity, warming black tea that reminded me of Xmas Markets).
Another thing I’ve caught onto lately is the health shot trend. What’s the purpose you ask? They are meant to prevent you from low immune, and at first I was a little skeptical.
However, after looking into them it actually makes a lot of sense – it’s a little shot packed with all the good-immune-boosting stuff.
I’ve been making my own health shots to accompany morning tea (note: they are incredibly bitter/sour/off-putting and you will need a palette cleansing chaser). I throw kale, mixed leafy greens, water, turmeric, and chia seeds into the blender and down that with a banana (the chaser).
If you’re struggling with low immune, or just want to get all your daily nutrients in one go, it’s something I would definitely try!
Today is my day off and I’m going to do the last of my Christmas shopping. I’ve already dropped $500 on presents this December, and I still have some bits and pieces I want to pick up. Looks like another expensive day, but it’ll all be worth it when Dec 25th rocks round.
Although I’m not a member of the LGBT community, I believe in equal rights, and so, hearing that 61.6% of Australians had voted “YES” in the recent postal vote (legalising gay marriage) was overwhelmingly exciting.
Naturally, I decided to draw inspiration from the rainbow flag which represents the LGBT movement, and make rainbow pizza and pancakes to celebrate.
If you want to make eye-catching (and extremely delicious) rainbow meals, read on.
Rainbow Pancakes (makes 15)
We’ll start with the pancakes – since they are the simplest (and because everyone wishes dessert would come first).These are the perfect breakfast or lunch (or dinner??) recipe, and I used a simple pancake shake mix to make it all happen even quicker.
You will need food dye, pancake mix, vanilla essence, fruit (to garnish) and butter for greasing.
Start by working off the pancakes you’re about to eat, and shake the pancake mix like crazy as per its instructions. Once it’s ready, add 1 tsp of vanilla essence to the mixture (gives it a delightfully sweet tang) and pour 65g of the mixture into 6 different bowls. Add the food dye as follows:
Red – 8 drops red dye
Orange – 2 drops red, 4 yellow
Yellow – 5 drops yellow
Green – 5 drops green
Blue – 5 drops blue
Purple – 3 drops red, 1 blue
Then, cook up a storm, and cook the pancakes over a medium heat in a frying pan. Tip: make sure you add butter to pan between each pancake so they don’t stick and burn (and earn a lovely, buttery aftertaste).
Voila! Garnish with berries.
I also tried making one large, multi-coloured pancake with the left over mixture. It looked a little funky, but was too yummy to turn away.
Rainbow Pizza (makes 8 pieces)
I like it simple (and I want my food ASAP) so I decided to go with store bought pizza bases. If you can get them I recommend Bazaar Gourmet Pizza bases.
You will need:
1 Pizza Base
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (you can use light mozzarella if you want something healthier)
Colourful Veggies, my suggestions:
Red – Red Pepper (Capsicum) & Red cherry tomatoes
Orange – Carrot
Yellow – Yellow cherry tomatoes, Sweet corn
Green – Broccolini, Snow peas
Purple – Red onion, Cabbage (I didn’t end up using the cabbage)
First, after heating the oven to 220˚C, smear the base with tomato paste and sprinkle the cheese on top – this is different to normal pizza recipes; the cheese needs to be put on first so the veggies stick but you can still see their beautiful colours.
Then, chop up all the veggies and place them on the pizza in a rainbow fashion.
Cook for 10 minutes and your pizza is ready!
These recipes were so tasty, and incredibly fun to make. Let me know if you try it out, or have any other rainbow recipes 🙂
Acai Bowls have been a craze in Sydney for the past year or so, with so many acai-focused places popping up that I now have a mental list of spots for the best bowls in the city (check out Bare Naked Bowls and The Fruitologist).
But, every now and again (usually when the bank balance is looking sheepish) I make a cheap, easy, TASTY, homemade acai bowl for breakfast or lunch.
Most of the ingredients are inexpensive and can be picked up at your local Supermarket, but the problem comes down to sourcing the actual acai powder. For some reason every brand wants to charge exorbitant prices for a tiny bag of acai (probably because the acai berry can only be found in Brazil).
Mmm some mornings all I feel like is a smoothie when I wake up.
Below is my recipe for a quick, healthy and FILLING smoothie for breakfast. This thing literally keeps me full until lunch, and I’ve made sure I packed it full of ingredients with wonderful health benefits.
You will need:
1 cup spinach – high in protein, fiber, vitamins.
1 tsp turmeric – contains curcumin which increases your immune.
1/4 cup almond milk (or water) – rich in protein and calcium.
1/2 cup blueberries – antioxidants combat ageing and boost cognition.
1/2 cup strawberries – source of manganese and potassium.
1/2 banana – great for your daily intake of vitamin B6 and B12, as well as magnesium and potassium.
1 tbsp chia seeds – loaded with nutrients for hardly any calories.
1 tbsp greek yogurt – makes you feel full and has great probiotics.
Blend them all together…
If you have any good smoothie recipes please share them with me! I’d love to try them.
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!
And JUST after we finished up with the Easter long weekend, we were blessed with yet another long weekend due to Anzac day (see the awesome, slightly excessive cookie I baked here).
I was luckily enough to be invited up for a trip to Hawks Nest for the weekend, which is one of my favourite coastal getaways, as it brings back memories of countless holidays I had there as a kid.
It’s just a 2 hour drive from Sydney, and I’ve always had a secret love for the peacefulness of car trips, but I did bring my book The Girl on the Train to help pass the time. Side note on the book: it’s incredible. If you haven’t read it, make sure you do, although beware it’s very addictive and easy to get lost in. Or, take the lazy route and watch the movie, because it’s one of the few films that is as exciting as the book.
We were only up at the holiday house for 3 days, and in that time we grabbed night-time ice creams, went for walks on the beach where I practiced my photography on the seashells, did bike rides, went for ocean swims and did a bunch of bush walks. Below is a pic I snapped on a cycle to Winda Woppa, which I took just as the sun was setting. The scenery was breath-taking, and I really took a moment to soak it all up.
My favourite day by far was bang in the middle when we took the speedboat out for the day. The best feeling in the world is having a salty ocean breeze dancing on my face and hair, and this was perfect with the sun shining down and warming us up. We sped around the bay admiring the houses and beaches in the Nelson’s Bay area and stopped to grab coffees at a cute little dockside coffee station at midday. We wrapped up the day at Tea Gardens (neighbouring suburb) and sat at a quaint cafe for tea and scones which were delicious.
I had a divine weekend and was a little upset when it was over so quickly. I’m already excited to go back and if you ever get the chance to go to Hawks Nest, it’s the perfect place for a beachside holiday in a location that isn’t too built-up or populated.