My Irresistible Homemade Hummus

Lately, I’ve been on the Hummus wagon.

I fell off for a while whilst I was struggling with IBS. To manage it my doctor had me on a low FODMAP diet where legumes are not allowed.

Now that I’m able to eat them again I’ve been using beans and lentils wherever I can. If you love chickpeas too you have to try Pamela Reif’s inventive cookie dough recipe – chickpeas are involved…

If you’re not adventurous enough to try chickpea based desserts, try a making a savoury hummus at home.

I find homemade hummus much more flavourful than the store bought kind, and it’s a brilliant way to get plant-based protein, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and healthy fats in.

As I’m also (weirdly) addicted to green olives, I’ve added them to the recipe as well – feel free to exclude them if you’re not as keen.

Blend the following until smooth, and try it yourself:

  1. 400g canned chickpeas (washed & drained)
  2. Healthy dose of lemon, herb and garlic seasoning (I find the Masterfood’s blend the perfect amount of zest and flavour, but you can always use an actual squeeze of lemon, mixed herbs, and a clove of garlic).
  3. Lots of Paprika
  4. 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  5. 3 tbsp water
  6. 10 green olives, pitted and stuffed with pimento

Have you made your own hummus before?

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

New & Improved Acai Bowl Recipe

Acai Bowls have been a craze in Sydney for a while now, with so many acai-focused places popping up that I have compiled a mental list of spots for the best bowls in the city; check out Bare Naked Bowls, The Fruitologist and Coco Bliss.

Every now and again (usually when my bank balance is looking sheepish) I make a cheap, easy, TASTY, acai bowl at home. Below is my updated recipe, but check out different acai bowls in my previous posts.

The ingredients are inexpensive and can be picked up at your local Supermarket, except for the actual acai powder. Every brand seems to want to charge exorbitant prices for a tiny bag of acai.

My hack is the Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree (AUD $8), or the Tropeaka Acai Powder (AUD $34)

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For my recipe you will need:

  1. 1 x Creative Gourmet Organic Acai Puree pack OR 1 tbsp Tropeaka acai powder.
  2. 20g Smooth Peanut Butter (Mayvers is my favourite)
  3. 50g frozen strawberries
  4. 50g frozen blueberries
  5. 1/2 cup water or more as needed
  6. 1 medium banana
  7. Dried Chia seeds
  8. Shredded Coconut

Approximately 340 calories. Time: 10 minutes

Method:

  1. Blend the acai, water and frozen berries until thick smoothie consistency is formed.
  2. Pour blended mixture into a bowl.
  3. Chop up the banana and place on top, and drizzle with peanut butter. Sprinkle the chia seeds and shredded coconut on top (tasty added health benefits).

Mmmm! xx Have you made acai bowls before?

Cauliflower Pizza & Movie Night

On the weekends, I try to whip up something a little fancier than protein and veggies for a bit of a change – Thai green curry, lamb roast, or laksa for example.

Tonight I decided to keep it simple and throw together a pizza. It turned out to have quite an eclectic mix of toppings because I had bits and bobs of leftover food I wanted to use.

I used butternut pumpkin, asparagus, basil, low-fat mozzarella, a tomato, roasted peri peri chicken slices, shallots and a tin of champignon mushrooms (the mushrooms were a bit random.. don’t know if I’d do it again).

For the base, I used Picasso Kitchen Cauliflower Base! It was delicious! Only 282 calories in the entire base. You can also make your own Cauliflower base if you are feeling creative.

The best part was that it was only 15 minutes from when I started cooking to serving the meal. This was perfect because I was having a hungry day and I just wanted to eat!

I winged the tomato sauce by blending 3 tbsp greek yoghurt, basil and 1 whole tomato. All the pizza needed was 10 minutes at 200˚C in the oven before it was ready to eat.

We ate our pizza’s while watching The Intouchables – if you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

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!

Veggie-Packed Frittata to get Your Greens in

Frittata’s are one of those dishes that look super complex but are very easy to whip together.

They are also super versatile – they can be served hot or chilled, and taste good with just about any combination of vegetables.

The rainbow vegetables in this dish provide several vitamins and nutrients, whilst making it filling but low in calories. The eggs are a vital source of healthy fat and protein.

You can choose different veggies depending on what you feel like. My favourites are in the recipe below, but other options are capsicum, regular tomatoes, pumpkin, mushroom & asparagus.

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For a touch of sweetness I use sweet potato as the base of the Frittata. This can be substituted for baby potatoes if you prefer a more savoury taste.

You will need:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • Sprinkle of Paprika
  • 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, paprika 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 the 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 the egg has cooked through).

Voila! Homemade and delicious.

The Perfect High Satiety Breakfast

I have been trying out all different styles of breakfasts (muesli, toast, bacon & eggs, avo on toast, oats, healthy pancakes, smoothies) to try and find a delicious breakfast that I’m excited for every morning, which is also very filling.

It is so important to have a nutritious first meal of the day. Not only to put you in a good mood, but also for several health reasons. The first meal breaks your overnight fast (hence ‘break fast’), replenishing your glucose levels for the day. This stabilises your blood sugar, improves your memory and concentration, and ensure you don’t head for calorie-dense, unhealthy options at the end of the day.

Whilst different people enjoy their first meal at different times (intermittent fasters might have breakfast at 1pm!), it is important to have a balanced first meal. The savoury option I believe I’ve perfected:

  • 2 scrambled eggs cooked in 1/2 tbsp coconut oil, with a handful of baby spinach
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (you could also add mushrooms, or halloumi if you like!)
  • 1 piece of multi-grain toast
  • Black tea with almond milk (or herbal tea e.g. peppermint)

This meal has complex carbohydrates in the bread, healthy fat in the avocado, protein in the eggs, and vitamin C, potassium and magnesium in the baby spinach.

To avoid getting tired of having the SAME meal every day, mix the meal up by replacing the egg with 50g of fish, such as tuna, trout or cooked salmon. Or, you can try different types of bread such as wholemeal, rye or sourdough. It’s up to you!

xx