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My favourite Sweet ‘treats’!

Fruit crumbleHUGE apologies for my lack of  posts recently.

I promise, I haven’t given up on n-ergise,  it’s just that a few big changes have come my way in the past few months which have kind of overtaken. One of the biggest being that I am pregnant! 7 months now, so only 8 weeks to go until our little boy is born!

Anyway, enough about that and on to the latest post…

We all have the odd occasion when we need a little sweetness in our life don’t we?! So, I would like to share with you my favourite after dinner sweet treats. I say ‘treats’ because these are NOT a daily occurrence but more of a Saturday night goody that won’t leave you with sugar dips and cravings the following day. The plus side is that they are  low GI, sugar free, will feed your body with nutritional goodness and very importantly they taste great!

1) Apple and Peach Crumble

Filling:

– 4 Apples chopped

– 2 Peaches sliced

– 1 small punnet of Blackberries (optional)

– 1 teaspoon of Vanilla Bean Paste or Extract

– 1 tablespoon Agave Nector

Topping:

– 80g Ground Almonds

– 80g Pistachios

– 1 teaspoon cinnamon

– 6 pitted dates

What to do:

For the filling put the fruit, vanilla and agave in a pot  with the lid on and cook in the oven at 200c for about 45 minutes.

For the topping put the almonds, pistachios, cinnamon and dates in a food processor.

Let the filling cool and then put into an oven proof dish. Sprinkle on the top and then heat until filling is hot and topping is slightly browned.

Enjoy!!!

2) Stewed Winter Fruit

– 4 Apples chopped

– 2 Pears chopped

– 1 teaspoon Cinnamon to taste – adjust more or less depending what you like

– 1 teaspoon Nutmeg to taste – adjust more or less depending what you like

– Natural Yoghurt with a small amount of Vanilla Beach paste added

What to do:

Chop up the fruit and put in a pot with the lid on  and cook for around 45 minutes – 1hr at 200c. Serve with a good dollop of  the Natural yoghurt

3) ‘Ava Choccie Mousse Cake

For the base:

– 150g Pecans

– 150g Almonds

– 1 tsp, Pink Himalayan Salt (pinch of salt if you don’t have!)

– 3 tbsp of almond butter

For the filling:

– Blend the flesh of 4 medium, ripe avocados

– 150g Virgin coconut oil

– Beans of 2 whole vanilla pods

– 200g raw cacao powder

– Pinch of salt

– Sweeten with agave nectar to taste.

What to do:

For the base blend together the almonds and pecans in a food processor, add the almond butter and keep blending until it forms a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into mould or tuppaware and press down flat to form a base.  Cover with cling film and leave to harden in the freezer for about 1hr.

Blend all the ingredients for the filling together until smooth and then pour onto the base. Set in the freezer until it is firm enough to slice up. The recipe says for an hour but we ended up having to leave it overnight before it was firm enough.

Top with fresh berries or eat it as it is. Whatever takes your fancy!

4) Feeling Lazy?

You can’t beat  a couple of squares of 85% Green and Blacks Dark Chocolate!

One serving which is 25 g contains;  2.3 g Protein, 5.6 g Carb, 160 Kals

Source:

* ‘Ava Choccie Mousse Cake was adapted from: http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/laura-coxeters-raw-chocolate-ganache-tart/

* ‘Fruit Crumble’ adapted from http://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/11/berry-crumble/

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In a Lunchtime Rut? Then Spice it Up!

It is very easy to get stuck in a bit of a lunchtime rut. We all do it! Whether you prepare your own lunches at home or pop down to the local sandwich shop or supermarket it is tempting  to stick to the same old thing day in day out! I appreciate that many of us are extremely time poor but eating the same old things every single day can get a tad dull! And I believe that food is to be enjoyed!! You might also find that by sticking to one thing all the time you are not exposing your body to as many different nutrients as you could do by eating a wide range of different foods. Plus if you are bored at meal times then you are more likely to seek out naughty treats later on in the day! 😉

So, I encourage you to take a look at your lunchtime menu, have you had the same thing everyday this week? If so it’s time to try something new! Try a new protein source that you wouldn’t usually have or select a couple of new vegetables next time you go shopping and try and make a soup with them. Add some seeds, herbs and spices to your salad and try different combinations or try and make a new healthy salad dressing. Look at the existing foods that you eat, how could you make them even more tasty?!

Here are a few (slightly different!) lunch ideas that you could try to spice things up a bit!

Cottage Cheese with a difference

It has a reputation for being a little bland sometimes – it’s one of those that you either love or you hate! BUT if you can bare to stick with it cottage cheese is extremely high in protein (1 cup contains between 25 and 28 g of protein!) which makes it a great lunchtime filler, helping to keep those mid afternoon hunger cravings at bay. To spice it up a bit and add another dimension try adding some sun-dried tomatoes, Italian mixed herbs and a tablespoon of mixed seeds to your cottage cheese, honestly it is soooo yummy!

Serve your cottage cheese with a green salad of rocket and spinach and you could create an open sandwich by adding on top of one slice of low GI toast. Alternatively you could chop up sticks of celery and carrot and use to dip.

Tuna and Cottage Cheese

If you are not a huge fan of tuna than try mixing together with cottage cheese and a few chives. The cottage cheese tones down the fishiness of the tuna and the chives compliment it perfectly. Another great high protein mix that will leave you feeling full for HOURS!

Serve on top of a Dr Karg  Seeded Spelt cracker with a  tomato, cucumber, celery and carrot salad.

Yoghurt and Garlic Chicken

Cold left over chicken can be a little bland or dry when served on it’s own. Mix together a couple of tablespoons of natural unsweetened yoghurt, a clove of crushed garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice, a good drizzle of olive oil and some black pepper (add a little salt too if required).

To serve mix into your pieces of chicken (a bit like a healthy coronation chicken) or  place chicken on top of a salad and drizzle the yoghurt dressing over the top.

The Soup and Protein Combo

To add a bit of variety why not make a healthy vegetable soup and serve with a portion of protein? Fry 1 onion in a little olive oil for about a minute and then add 1 chopped pepper, 2 chopped courgettes, 1 large chopped carrot, 3 stalks chopped celery and fry for about 5 minutes. Add some chopped sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cans of chopped tomatoes and 1 litre of good quality vegetable stock cubes (such as bouillon) you could also add a glug of white wine (optional!). Bring to a gentle boil and then simmer on a very low heat for about 30 mins. Liquidise with a hand blender.

To serve make sure you add some protein! We like to add some cubes of feta cheese or some canned tuna to the soup. If not then just serve with a portion of smoked salmon or chicken breast on the side.

Fritatta

I believe that Fritatta’s are hugely under-rated! They are delicious served hot or cold and they are so versatile, you can experiment with a never ending combination of flavours and can’t really go that wrong!

For a VERY easy Fritatta that takes minimal ingredients, pre heat the oven to 170 c and lightly fry a leek and a red pepper. Pour into the bottom of a baking dish, lined with baking paper that has at least 1.5 inches in-depth which is about the thickness of the finished fritatta. Mix together desired number of eggs along with some milk, some Italian mixed herbs and a little salt and pepper. Use around 8-12 eggs depending on the size of the baking dish you are using…baring in mind that it will puff up a little when it has cooked. Pour the egg mix on top of the leek and peppers and add some cubes of feta or goats cheese. Cook in the oven for around 30-40 minutes or until the egg is cooked through and the fritatta is lightly brown on the top.

Serve hot or cold with a green salad.

Alternatively for a taste sensation try Laura’s Blissful Fritatta bites;

https://n-ergise.com/2012/07/17/lauras-blissful-frittata-bites/

EXPERIMENT AND ENJOY! Would love to hear how you get on!

Mouthwatering Goodness!

I am just eating a bowl of something so delicious that I just HAVE to share it with you. On the outside it doesn’t seem at all appealing – and to be honest when I suggested making it yesterday even Rob, who loves his vegetables and is hugely passionate about food wasn’t particularly excited about it. BUT… one taste of this delicious little concoction and I guaranteed you will be swayed. Not only because it is so bloomin tasty but also because you can literally taste all the nutrients and goodness with every mouthful and with hardly any ingredients it is VERY easy and cost-effective to make.

Here is the recipe for Celery and Celeriac Soup… I know you may not be a fan of either of these main components but seriously prepare to be surprised!

Celery and Celeriac Soup

450g celery – cut into large chunks

450g of peeled celeriac – cut into large chunks

1 medium onion – cut into large chunks

3 bay leaves

1.5 litre of good quality vegetable stock – such as bullion

Pre-heat oven to 150c. Put all of the ingredients into a large pot or casserole and bring to a simmer on the hob. Once simmering put pot into the oven and cook slowly for 3 hours. Take out of the oven, remove bay leaves and blend with a hand blender. DONE!

Serve on it’s own or with a drizzle of natural yogurt

To ensure I get some protein I have mine for lunch with a chicken breast or a good portion of cottage cheese – on a separate plate, not in the soup!

Why include Celeriac in your diet?

Compared to other root vegetables such as potato and carrot celeriac is much lower in both carbohydrates (starches) and calories. One cup serve of celeriac is only 9g of carbs as opposed to a one cup serve of potato which has 27g of carbs, it is therefore suitable for diabetics. It is also very low in calories, a cup serving is less than 40 calories.

It is a very good source of fibre consisting of mainly cellulose and hemicellulose.  This fibre helps the body to regulate the absorption of nutrients, in addition to regulating bowl movements.

Celeriac is also high in vitamin c, vitamin k, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese.

Recipe taken from:  http://www.deliaonline.com/recipes/type-of-dish/soups/slow-cooked-celery-and-celeriac-soup.html

‘Pimp up’ your vegetables!

Do you find it hard to get your daily dose of vegetables?

Let’s face it the humble old vegetable is often seen as being the least interesting part of a meal. Included by many as a ‘healthy necessity’ rather than the exciting ‘hub of the meal’ vegetables often assume the role of ‘add on’ especially when accompanied by an exciting meat or fish. This lack of attention can therefore lead to them being rather bland especially if you don’t love the taste of the natural thing.

Vegetables contain many of the essential nutrients vital for the health and maintenance of your body. Not to mention all the fibre which revs up your metabolism and keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Therefore it is hugely important to make sure you do get enough vegtables in your diet and I believe in order to do this it is also hugely important to actually enjoy your vegetables… life’s too short to be forcing yourself to eat something you hate everyday!

So, in my quest for getting people to eat more vegetables here are a few delicious and easy ideas on how to make your vegetable accompaniment more interesting!

  • Instead of mashed potato use cooked celeriac, squash, Swede or cauliflower and mash with a little olive oil and seasoning with salt/pepper and herbs (cumin is yummy!)
  • Julienne or use a potato peeler to create strips of zucchini/cucumber or carrot which can be used to create a similar effect to noodles. My favourite is to blanch some zucchini and leek strips for about 60 seconds in boiling water and use as a noodle pasta for bolognaise
  • Marinate slices of courgette in lemon juice and a little olive oil for 10 – 30 mins and then griddle in a searing hot pan
  • Use cauliflower and process in a food processor until it resembles rice/breadcrumbs. Lightly cook until almost tender and use as rice
  • Use broccoli florets or courgettes chopped to the same size as pasta and add your favourite pasta sauce
  • Use shredded cabbage and carrot as a base to bolognaise instead of spaghetti… I do this all the time and it tastes great!
  • Roast butternut squash in a little bit of olive oil, cumin, coriander, curry powder
  • Roast Mediterranean vegetables (such as peppers, onions, tomatoes, courgettes, beans) in a little olive oil (or 1 cal spray) with rosemary and thyme
  • Make a salad of cooked green beans, cherry tomatoes, red onions soaked in lemon juice/or spring onions, olive oil, white wine vinegar and more lemon juice to taste

‘Feel Good’ meals that actually make you ‘Feel Good’!

There are certain staple meals that I know I can’t live without! Those meals that you always look forward to, those meals that are saved for a cosy friday night in with a good film. Those comforting, warming, feel good meals that smell sooooo good when they are cooking and taste even better the next day cold.

But unfortunately with many of the ‘traditional forms’ of these meals you are left with that horrible sluggish, bloated feeling afterwards thanks to the high levels of refined carbs, often in the forms of stodgy white pasta’s, pastries and potatoes. Plus all these hidden sugars means that they are also not that great on the waist line either!

So, what if I told you that you can still have these wonderful ‘feel good’ meals but actually ‘feel good’ and not guilty afterwards! Here are some of my favourites:

Guilt free – Spaghetti Bolognese

Make your usual bolognese sauce and then instead of using pasta, julienne some courgettes (zucchini) – in other words slice the vegetable  into long thin noodle shaped strips. Then blanch in hot water for about 1 min. The courgette (zucchini) will have the same kind of consistency as real pasta spaghetti and taste awesome with the topping too.

Guilt free – Cauliflower Cheese or Moussaka

Make a bechamel sauce for your cauliflower cheese or moussaka by combining approx 2 cups of ricotta, approx 1/3 cup of milk (this all depends on the consistency you like, add more for a runnier sauce or less for a thicker sauce) and a good  pinch of nutmeg!

Bake Cauliflower Cheese or Moussaka in the oven as normal, they will be ready when cooked through and golden brown on the top.

Guilt free – Shepherds Pie

Cauliflower Mash

Make your usual filling from either minced lamb or minced beef. For the topping use cauliflower mash instead of the usual potato. Saute a small onion and a clove of garlic in a large saucepan. Add 1 whole head of very finely chopped cauliflower and 1/4 cup of water or vegetable stock. Steam for around 5-10 mins making sure you don’t over cook and there is still some bite. Take a hand blender and blend into smooth consistency.

Spread on top of meat mixture and bake until slightly brown on the top.

OR

Butternut Squash Mash

Make your usual filling from either minced lamb or minced beef. For the topping steam cubes of butternut squash until tender. Mash with a little olive oil, some salt and pepper and a dash of nutmeg. As an alternative cumin or curry powder also go very well with the squash instead of the nutmeg.

Guilt free – Quiche

This is an awesome Teresa Cutter Recipe….

Serves 12

Pastry Base

400 g ground almonds
3 tablespoons ground linseed
3 organic / free range eggs
pinch sea salt
3 tablespoons olive oil

Combine almonds linseeds, sea salt, eggs and oil into a mixing bowl and mix through using your hands until you form a lovely dough.  Roll out into a round shape between 2 sheets of baking paper then line a 25 cm pie plate that has been lightly brushed with olive oil and coated in almond meal to prevent sticking.

Filling

500 g spinach leaves
2 leeks sliced or onions sliced
pinch black pepper and sea salt
pinch nutmeg
handful fresh basil, sliced
400 g fresh ricotta cheese

In a large deep pot, saute onion or leek until soft over a low to medium heat in 1 tablespoon of olive or grape seed  oil.  Add spinach leaves – you may have to add in 2 batches if spinach doesn’t fit it, but that’s cool.  Season with a little sea salt, pepper, nutmeg and basil. Cook only until spinach has wilted then remove from the heat and drain out any excess liquid.

Add the ricotta and mix through until combined.

Spoon the filling into the pastry lined pie shell and bake for 35 minutes in a moderate 180 C oven until golden.

Source: http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/03/spinach-and-ricotta-pie/

5 Easy ‘Weeknight’ Fish recipes…

Fish, soooo yummy, soooo versatile and soooo good for you!  An excellent low fat source of protein, vitamins and minerals, fish is also packed full of omega 3 fatty acids which can help prevent heart disease and also reduces your chances of a stroke or heart attack. Yet  despite the numerous health benefits people are still not getting enough fish in their diet – the American Heart Foundation actually recommends people eat 2-3 fish meals per week.

For many I think the idea of cooking fish is rather daunting and there mere thought of having a raw plain white piece of fish sat in front of them sends them running for the hills or that nearest piece of meat! It has a bit of a reputation as being bland or difficult to cook when in fact it is so easy and quick to cook!

So, by popular request, here are my top 5 EASY Fish recipes. I can’t promise you that they are gourmet meals BUT they are cost-effective and simple and tasty enough to bung in the oven on your average week night, when you are likely to be short on time and energy!

The fish ideas below serve 2 people…

Barramundi with Cumin

Coat two Barramundi fillets in a generous amount of ground cumin along with a little salt and pepper. Put a small amount of cold pressed olive oil in a frying pan and slowly fry on a medium heat, approx 5-6 mins each side. You will know when it is cooked if you cut into it gently and the flesh comes apart easily.

Make a dressing from 1 cup natural yogurt, 2 tablespoons cold pressed olive oil, a good squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a little salt and pepper.

Serve with your choice of green vegetables… we think english spinach works really well.

Mediterranean Trout or Salmon

Pre heat the oven to 200c. Place the trout in a piece of tin foil with a little salt and some pepper. Drizzle on a little  Balsamic vinegar, cover the top with chopped sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil and finally sprinkle on a few squares of feta cheese. Wrap the foil up into a parcel and place in the oven for around 20 mins or until the fish is cooked all the way through.

Serve with some steamed broccoli.

Asian White Fish – (have tried this with Perch, Snapper and Silver Dory but am sure most other firm white fish will do)

Pre heat the oven to around 200c. Place fish on some tin foil with a little salt and pepper. In a jug mix together 2 tablespoons of sesame oil, a little olive oil, a good amount of chopped fresh ginger, a small chopped onion, 1 tablespoon of organic tamari sauce. Mix together and pour over the fish. Wrap the foil up to form a parcel then ideally leave to marinate for about 30 mins (you don’t have to marinate but it is better if you do) Then bake the parcel in the oven for about 20 mins or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve on a bed of steamed bok choy.

Spicy White Fish- (have tried this with Snapper, Perch and Blue Eye but again am sure other firm white fish will be fine)

Pre heat the oven to around 200c. Place fish on some tin foil with a little salt and pepper. In a jug mix together the juice of half  to one lemon and a clove or two of garlic (depending on how much lemon and garlic you like, taste to see) Add a red chilli and plenty of  fresh coriander. Mix together and pour over the fish, wrap the foil up into a parcel. Place the parcel in the oven for about 20 mins until the fish is cooked through.

Julienne a courgette (zucchini) into long thin strips lengthwise and blanch for one minute in hot water. It has the consistency of spaghetti but no where near as many cals!

Salmon Burgers – (from Teresa Cutter – the healthy chef)

Combine 400g of chopped raw salmon, 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley, zest from 1 lemon, a little salt and pepper and one egg white into a food processor. Pulse until combined then remove and shape into 4 burgers. Coat in almond meal and rest in the fridge for 15 mins to help them set. Cook in a pan over a low to medium heat with a little olive oil until crisp, golden and cooked through.

Serve over lots of leafy greens and then drizzle over 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, 4 tablespoons of olive oil and a pinch of black pepper.

Laura’s Blissful Frittata Bites

Don’t you just love Saturday mornings?! I was lucky enough to enjoy the ultimate Saturday morning last weekend… It was pure bliss!

It began with a nice early night on Friday and then up bright and early at 6am training  – with the hubby and the dog in tow. The sky was just stunning at that time of day and we were lucky enough to view yet another stunning sunrise over Bondi. After training, a fantastic yoga session at Dharma Shala in Bondi and then finally a relaxing brunch with the girls.

My friend Laura was hosting the brunch and she lay on a really fantastic feast including the recipe for Frittata bites below. They honestly tasted amazing and would make an awesome grab and go protein rich breakfast throughout the week if you whipped up a batch and stored them in the fridge. So here they are, Laura’s blissful Saturday Frittata bites… I hope you enjoy them as much as we all did!

Laura’s Blissful Frittata Bites

Ingredients

(Makes 12 large “cups”)

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ bell pepper, finely diced (I used orange)
  •  ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 8 whole eggs
  • ½ cup egg whites
  • 100g Feta cheese, crumbled
  • 50g sundried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme
  •  grating fresh nutmeg

 Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and coat a 12- large cup muffin pan with cooking spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
  2. Drizzle large skillet with olive oil, and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add salt, pepper, garlic and bell pepper and continue cooking for about a minute, until fragrant.
  3. Throw in spinach leaves and toss gently until completely wilted, about one minute. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add whole eggs, egg whites, fresh thyme and nutmeg. Beat the eggs until fully incorporated and slightly frothy. Add spinach mixture; sun dried tomatoes and Feta cheese.
  5. Spoon into prepared muffin tin. Do not fill the cups more than ¾ of the way to avoid spillage.
  6. Cook for 22-25 minutes, until eggs are set and top starts to colour.
  7. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before removing frittata from cups.
  8. Can be served immediately, but is equally good served cold, with a nice green salad.

Recipe taken from: http://thehealthyfoodie.com/2012/03/26/spinach-feta-frittata-bites/

Photo; http://www.flickr.com/photos/bohomisfit/4832425946/sizes/z/in/photostream/

High Protein, Low GI, Sugarless, Gluten Free Banana Bread

I came across this recipe last weekend and despite having a house full of packing boxes (we are moving house next weekend) and virtually no cooking appliances left unpacked, I just had to make it straight away… AND IT WAS SO WORTH IT!!!

We had our last slice for breakfast this morning toasted and spread with some ricotta cheese for extra protein and we both left for work grinning, it is just sooooo tasty!

I am not going to bore you with much of my garble today but will just let the recipe speak for itself! Here is the recipe for a high protein, low GI, sugarless, gluten free, grain free Banana bread.

High Protein, Low GI Banana Bread

300g smashed banana

3 free range eggs

Agave Syrup* (I used around 1 tablespoon but it depends how sweet you like it)

1 teaspoon of vanilla

60g olive oil

1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (bicarb soda)

1 tablespoon of lemon juice

2 cups of almond meal (ground almonds)

1/4 cup of flaxseed meal (ground flaxseed)

How to make it

Preheat the oven to 160 C.

Combine the smashed banana, agave, vanilla, eggs, cinnamon, bicarb, lemon juice and oil in a bowl making it as close to a smoothie consistency as possible. Add the almond and flax meal and combine.

Pour into a lightly oiled loaf tin (you could also sprinkle some almond meal into the tin on top of the oil to help prevent it sticking) and bake in the oven for 45 mins to 1 hour. You will know it is ready if you insert a skewer into the middle and it comes out dry. If it browns too quickly place some tin foil over it whilst it’s cooking.

Wait for it to cool before turning out of the tin. Serve either cool or toasted with a little ricotta cheese and sprinkling of seeds.

Makes 1 loaf with approx 12 slices:

1 slice:

Protein: 6.1 g
Carbs: 10g
Total Fat: 15 g
Saturated: 1.7 g
Kilojoules: 828
Calories: 193

Source: Recipe taken from http://www.thehealthychef.com/2011/10/gluten-free-banana-bread/

‘Ava Choccie!

 So this weeks post is a seemingly naughty treat that actually isn’t naughty at all! Here is a recipe for a healthy, low GI chocolate mousse cake. It contains no sugar, no cream and no butter and yet it has a wonderful rich, smooth and creamy consistency just like your regular chocolate mousse. Plus the added bonus is that you don’t feel sick or guilty afterwards!

The main ingredient for this recipe is actually avocado, which may sound crazy but honestly it tastes AMAZING. Just so you know about 75% of an avocado’s calories come from fat but most of this is the heart healthy monounsaturated fat, so it is actually very good for you. The base is purely made up of nuts meaning that this cake is packed full of protein too.

I have to admit that my hubby Rob has to take full credit for this recipe, so if you love it as much as we do then this ones on him!

‘Ava Choccie Mousse Cake

Ingredients:

For the base:

150g Pecans

150g Almonds

1 tsp, Pink Himalayan Salt (pinch of salt if you don’t have!)

3 tbsp of almond butter 

For the filling: 

Blend the flesh of 4 medium, ripe avocados

150g Virgin coconut oil

Beans of 2 whole vanilla pods

200g raw cacao powder

Pinch of salt

Sweeten with agave nectar to taste.

Method

For the base blend together the almonds and pecans in a food processor, add the almond butter and keep blending until it forms a thick paste. Spoon the mixture into mould or tuppaware and press down flat to form a base.  Cover with cling film and leave to harden in the freezer for about 1hr.

Blend all the ingredients for the filling together until smooth and then pour onto the base. Set in the freezer until it is firm enough to slice up. The recipe says for an hour but we ended up having to leave it overnight before it was firm enough.

Top with fresh berries or eat it as it is. Whatever takes your fancy!

 

This recipe was adapted from:

http://www.rivercottage.net/recipes/laura-coxeters-raw-chocolate-ganache-tart/

Quinoa Porridge! Trust me, it’s good!

As you may have gathered by now I am a strong believer in high protein, low GI breakfasts for sustained energy and balanced blood sugar levels throughout the day.

This means that on the vast majority of mornings the hubby and will indulge in a piece of lean protein be it eggs, oily fish, lean meat or cottage cheese with a small serving of homemade low GI bread and an adequate supply of good fats in the form of our usual seeds. I don’t think a meal goes by without a good shaking of seeds!

There is however, the odd occasion where it is nice to treat ourselves to something a little bit different – something that is that is still packed full of protein and goodness though of course.

You may have heard me say this before but incase you haven’t I absolutely love Quinoa! We often have a small serving of this versatile little seed as a savoury accompaniment to dinner. So when I came across the concept for Quinoa porridge as a morning treat I was intrigued.

Why is quinoa so great? If you haven’t tried it yet it tastes great with a wonderfully nutty flavour. It is not only really delicious but it’s also one of the best sources of protein in the plant kingdom. It’s also low in fat and full of slow release carbohydrates which means it balances blood sugar levels. It also contains all eight essential amino acids making it a complete protein. 

I found a few recipes for Quinoa porridge online but this recipe is my kind of trial and error made up version. We think it is really tasty and it certainly had us feeling full for hours afterwards…

Quinoa Porridge

Ingredients

2 cups of Quinoa (pre soaked in hot water for 5 minutes, drained and rinsed again)

2 cups of milk

1 cup of water

1 pinch of salt

1 teaspoon of Cinnamon

Fresh vanilla pod or vanilla extract (not essence)

To serve:

1 handful of chopped walnuts

1-2 tablespoon of seeds

A few raspberries

Method

Add the milk,  water and salt to the pre treated Quinoa and bring to the boil in a saucepan. Bring the heat down to a simmer and add the cinnamon and vanilla. Simmer on a low heat for around 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally and checking that the mixture does run out of fluid.

You will know whethat the porridge is ready when it begins to soften and comes together having soaked up most of the liquid. (Please note it doesn’t have the same consistency to conventional porridge, the quinoa will still stay in its original shape and will have some bite).

Once it is done spoon into bowls and add the nuts, seeds and berries.

Serves 3 – This made enough for two portions hot and then one portion cold the next day. It is fabulous enjoyed cold mixed with natural yogurt!

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