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

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

High Protein, High Fibre, Summer Smoothie Bowl

I’m constantly devising new smoothie recipes, so its no wonder that my blog is full of smoothie variations (see my detox smoothie, my green tea smoothie, and my acai bowls). There are just endless combinations.

This summer smoothie bowl I have created with a focus on vitality, protein and fibre. The key ingredient here is the Cacao Macadamia Raw Slim &  Tone Protein by Amazoniathis stuff has 7.5mg of iron and is 76% protein, which is fantastic for reducing fatigue and boosting energy.

This powder gives the smoothie bowl an irresistible nutty chocolate taste, as well as packing it with protein and iron for satiety and energy throughout the day. 

In my bowl I have: 

  • 30g Slim & Tone Protein 
  • 1 cup baby spinach – a great source of vitamin C for immune health
  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries – for fibre, to help your body digest the protein
  • 1/2 cup almond milk 
  • 1 tbsp psyllium husks – brilliant for digestion as high in fibre
  • 1/4 cup water 
  • You can also add some extra nutrients such as the collagen and pro/pre-biotic powders from Vida Glow and The Beauty Chef

Whip these up in a blender, and pour them into a bowl. I like to garnish with Carman’s fruit free muesli, seasonal fruits, healthy nut butter’s from Mayvers.

Breakdown
Calories: 219 (335 with 1 tbsp peanut butter topping) 
Protein: 26g
Fat: 5g | Fiber: 14g | Carbs: 23g
Prep time: 5 mins

xx

Start the day right: Low FODMAP Fluffy Protein Pancakes

I’ve recently transitioned back to the low FODMAP diet, following the recommendation from my dietician, as my gut has been giving me problems again.

The low FODMAP diet reduces foods that may give people stomach pain and discomfort. I usually do the diet for 6 weeks or so, and then when I’m feeling better I slowly introduce other foods.

If you are not familiar with foods eliminated from the diet, head over to the the MONASH website to read more.

Although the diet is pretty restrictive, I’ve been changing up some of my favourite recipes to suit a low FODMAP lifestyle.

These pancakes are 100 calories each, and because of the extra protein, the meal keeps me full until lunch.

Why is protein for breakfast important?

Protein is an important macronutrient for muscle growth, tissue repair and recovery. You want to make sure you are getting a healthy serving of 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 having it for breakfast stops you from getting ravenously hungry at 3-4pm and binging on unhealthy foods in the pantry.

The protein powder in the recipe: The protein powder you choose really makes the pancake – so make sure you choose a protein powder you 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. Note that soy protein is not low FODMAP, go for brown rice protein or pea protein.

The Recipe

You will need:

  1. 25g Chocolate Protein Powder
  2. 1/3 Cup rolled oats (Use coconut flour for the gluten free option)
  3. 100ml almond milk
  4. Pinch of Salt
  5. Pinch of Cinnamon
  6. 1 egg or 1 tbsp chia seeds
  7. 1/4 tsp baking powder
  8. Coconut oil for cooking
  9. Peanut butter, blueberries (no more than 40g), chopped banana for topping (no more than 100g).
  10. Sometimes I also add Vida Glows Cacao Maple Beauty Skin Formula for collagen production, a probiotic boost and some great Omega 3’s.

Method:

  1. Blend all the ingredients in a blender to form a thick batter
  2. Heat a fry-pan to a medium-high heat and grease pan with coconut oil.
  3. Pour the batter into circle shapes the size of your palm and cook each for about 3 minutes. Flip when you first see bubbles forming on the top of the batter.
  4. EAT & ENJOY

xx

Can you believe it? Healthy Cinnabon Rolls

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 cinnabon has 880 calories).

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

So, here’s the cheat sheet to my 45 minute, Plant Based 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 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. Then, turn the oven to 200C and bake for 20 mins.
  • Dust with icing sugar to serve.

Let me know how it goes! xx

Pancakes: Breakfast with me!

Hands down my favourite breakfast is pancakes. Although scrambled eggs & avo on sourdough comes pretty close.

There’s nothing better than a tower of soft, fluffy pancakes, covered in delicious toppings.

This morning I woke up with a burning desire for pancakes.

I like to mix up my pancake toppings: it’s usually a compilation of nut butter (I’m addicted to Mayver’s peanut butter), fresh & frozen fruits, sugar free maple syrup, chia seeds, coconut yogurt, caco nibs, dried fruit & nuts, or regular vanilla yogurt.

Snapseed 3

Today I went with frozen blueberries and a very thick drizzle of almond butter for the topping. For the pancakes themselves I blended 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 banana, 1 tbsp chia seeds, and a pinch of cinnamon and salt. I cooked this on a medium-high heat.

I wanted to address almond milk. If you are interested in the alternatives to cow’s milk, you have probably heard whispers about almond milk being part of a fad health craze, or that it just doesn’t taste good.

I investigated almond milk, and whilst it does have far less protein and calcium than soy milk and cows milk, it is a great option if you are looking for something lighter to go with a protein dense meal (such as peanut butter drenched pancakes). In terms of the taste, I’ve love it, but perhaps it is an acquired taste for some. Give the chocolate or sweetened versions a go for a while before you switch to plain, unsweetened almond milk.

Hope you have a lovely Friday leading into an even better weekend. I’ve got lots planned – this one’s meant to be sunny in Sydney!! Stay tuned for more recipes and adventures 🙂

xx

XMAS Healthy Salted Caramel Cookies

Okay so yes this is your usual Salted Caramel cookie recipe, however, for a sprinkle of Christmassy festivity I added cinnamon, nutmeg and rich dark chocolate to the dough.

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

Gather the following:

The Method:

  1. Mix all the ingredients (except chocolate chips) together, until you form a cookie dough. You can add almond milk gradually if the mixture is too flour-y.

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

3. 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 Antarctica.

4. Cut little shapes out with the cookie cutter.

5. 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.

The perfect Christmas treat. Enjoy!

xx

New Brunch Spots, High Tea, and Health Shots

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.

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 dainty, flower embellished decor and serving up platters that look more like works of art than meals.

I’ve also been having scone cravings lately. I’ve tried baking some myself, but my favourites are from The Tea Cosy in the Rocks. 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. This was a fruity, warming black tea that reminded me of Christmas – you can buy it in their shop!

I also tried out Momo Bar in Manly, who brought the Poké trend to Sydney. I had the Tiki Bowl: edamame, cabbage, seaweed, ginger, onion, carrot and fried shallots, with roasted sesame sauce. Delicious!

I have also had incredible brunches (i.e. A LOT of smashed avo on toast) at Laneway, The North Spoon, Wild Sage and The Bellagio Cafe.

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Momo Bar Manly – Tiki Bowl

Another thing I’ve caught onto lately is the health shot trend. These supposedly prevent you from low immune, and at first I was a little sceptical.

However, after looking into the argument for them, it 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. They are bitter and slightly off-putting so you will need a palette cleansing chaser. I blend kale, mixed leafy greens, water, turmeric, and chia seeds.

If you’re struggling with low immune, or just want to boost your daily nutrients, it’s something I would try!

xx

Australia voted YES! Rainbow Pizza & Pancakes for Marriage Equality.

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 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.

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 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). You can also use coconut oil as a non-dairy alternative.

Voila! Garnish with berries.

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Rainbow Pizza (makes 8 pieces)

I like it simple so I decided to go with store bought pizza bases. If you can get them I recommend Bazaar Gourmet Pizza bases. You could also use a Cauliflower Crust, if you are looking for a lower calorie alternative.

You will need:

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  • 1 Pizza Base
  • Tomato Paste
  • 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)

After heating the oven to 220˚C, smear the base with tomato paste and sprinkle the cheese on top. Note: 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!

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These recipes were so tasty, and incredibly fun to make. Let me know if you try it out, or have any other rainbow recipes 🙂

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xx