Monthly Archives: November 2013

New Toys – Dehydrator and Nikon Camera

Kale Chips

Meet my new dehydrator/fruit dryer, a cheap and cheerful option with donut shaped trays designed to dry a range of sliced fruits and veggies, even meat if you are disgusting enough to like that kind of thing. And like an idiot I have taken a photograph of the none¬†English side of the box, but you aren’t missing much.¬†So far I have dehydrated green apple slices, carrot slices and kale; apple being my favourite. I’m not sure how well this would do something like crackers as you would need some kind of sheet and they would have to be circular rather than square like the more expensive dehydrators. I’m sure I will give it a go though. Next on my list to dehydrate are blueberries, pineapple and courgette.

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Kale Chips

 

 

Another new gadget I bought is a camera, the Nikon D3100. I am in love but I think Lola might be a bit sick of me taking pictures of her. I’m not 100% sure how to get the most out of my new toy but I am pretty happy with the immediate results. They are already much better than my usual smartphone/instagram pictures.

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The Christmas decorations haven’t gone up yet but I have figured out that Lola hates the smell of peppermint oil so that will be my secret weapon against cat related tree attacks. I did buy myself a cute little Christmas plant and candle because I have a spending problem and because they are Christmassy and I’m excited.

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Have your Christmas decorations gone up yet?

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Product Reviews

Cooking everything from scratch can get pretty old pretty fast. Plus it’s difficult to make sure you are getting enough protein, enough calcium, enough vitamins. So sometimes a trip to a health food shop or an online shop makes life easier.

I’m a fan of adding powders or what not to a smoothie to increase the nutritional value but they don’t always taste so great. Case and point, Amazing Grass powder…

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I knew this was too good to be true. Packed with all natural nutrition as well as natural caffeine to keep you going without coffee or red bull, it had the potential to change my life. I even read a review saying it was tasty so I wait with baited breath for it to arrive in the post. Boy was I disapointed. It is tangy in a really bad way. Each sip made me screw up my face until I gave in and threw it away. I tried to make a smoothie with it but the tang overpowered everything I threw at it. The only way I have managed to drink it is a teaspoon full in a green juice which is a fair bit less than the provided scoop. You need some willpower to make this one work.

Still in search of a natural, nutrient packed powder, I moved my attention to protein powders as I try not to eat too much meat and a lot of vegan protein sources upset my ibs. Enter Warrier Blend Raw Chocolate Protein Powder.

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This one did not disapoint. It is chocolately and sweet enough to enjoy whilr being sugar free (contains stevia). It isn’t watery and has a kind of malty taste. I can drink this mixed with dairy free milk and it doesn’t feel like a chore. Plus it’s raw and vegan!

Milk up next. This one caught my eye as it is made from brown rice.

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I can actually drink this on it’s own which is a big deal as I haven’t found any unsweetened dairy free milk that I like the taste of neat. It doesn’t even taste unsweetened! But it does contain oil. Perfect in my chocolate protein shake or breakfast.

And here is breakfast

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Unsweetened porridge. A mix of gluten free oats, dried apple, raisins and cinnamon. And nothing else! It is really tasty but expensive. I did get it reduced though from Tesco.

Have you tried any new products lately? What do you recommend?

Skinny Peanut Butter Brownies

Today will be a productive day. Today will be a productive day. Today will be a productive day. Maybe that should be my mantra. There have been very few productive days lately other than the time I spend at work. It’s cold here and I just want to spend all my time under a blanket waiting for summer to come back. But I won’t. Well not all winter anyway.

So I revisited my favouritr brownie recipe as I so often do when I am in need of comfort. But I want to be good. The original recipe is a full on attack to body with a sugar rush that could wipe out a diabetic and enough calories to full a marathon runner. But this version was still chocolately with the enough peanut butter to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

By the way, I made these a while back and have been to unmotivated to post them/do anything at all. So today I am posting this recipe, cooking a beautiful and healthy meal (still undecided what it will be), as well as cleaning and digging out my art supplies. However I have achieved something this month; I have finished my christmas shopping! Hurrah! It’s not even december yet! That means I can devote december to delicious food and healthy living. Wish me luck!

Recipe

2.5 oz Light at Heart Sugar by Tate+Lyle* (or 5oz normal sugar or preferred sweetner)

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1.5oz Cocoa Powder
3 oz Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1 Egg or Egg Replacement
3 tbsp Dairy Free Milk
2 heaped tbsp Peanut Butter
3 oz Plain Gluten Free Flour
1tsp Gluten Free Baking Powder

*Light at Heart by Tate+Lyle is a mix of brown sugar and stevia. Due to the addition of stevia you only have to use half the quantity of what a recipe calls for. That’s why you would need 5oz of normal sugar. It’s a staple in my baking these days as there is no compromise on flavour.

Mix the apple sauce and the sugar well. Mix in the cocoa powder to form a paste. Beat in the egg or egg replacement and the softened peanut butter. Loosen with the milk. Stir in the flour and baking powder until well combined.

Bake in a small/medium baking dish at 180c or 160c fan for 15-20 minutes.

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Recipe makes 12 smallish squares.

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How do you cope winter? What is your go to comfort food?

My Favourite Green Juice

Green juice is not always as easy as it looks. Throw all the greens you have at it and it might not taste so great. But it’s so good for you! Even more so if you have a whole of digestive or other health issues. So I’ve been working on my ultimate recipe for a while.

My starting point was Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr, the queen of green juice. I tried some of her recipes and worked out what I liked and didn’t like. My recipe is also an economical one as I leave out thosr expesive greens that give out little juice, by which I mean the likes of kale where you would need half a field or so. I use romaine lettuce which is juicier than it looks, and adds a nice subtle sweetness.

So here’s the recipe:

1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1 green apple
1/3 of a large cucumber
1/2 stick celery (no more than that for celery haters like me)
1/4 of a lemon, skin on

This serves one and makes 300-400 ml depending on how good your ingredients are. You can peel the lemon if you don’t like the rind but it gives good flavour if you keep it on.

As for a juice fast, I don’t think I have what it takes. I am trying to introduce more into my diet though as a breakfast or a snack drink. When I run out of my greens this week I will be moving onto carrot and ginger.

Have you tried green juice? What do you think juicing?

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My Favourite Green Juice

Green juice is not always as easy as it looks. Throw all the greens you have at it and it might not taste so great. But it’s so good for you! Even more so if you have a whole of digestive or other health issues. So I’ve been working on my ultimate recipe for a while.

My starting point was Crazy Sexy Kitchen by Kris Carr, the queen of green juice. I tried some of her recipes and worked out what I liked and didn’t like. My recipe is also an economical one as I leave out thosr expesive greens that give out little juice, by which I mean the likes of kale where you would need half a field or so. I use romaine lettuce which is juicier than it looks, and adds a nice subtle sweetness.

So here’s the recipe:

1/2 head of romaine lettuce
1 green apple
1/3 of a large cucumber
1/2 stick celery (no more than that for celery haters like me)
1/4 of a lemon, skin on

This serves one and makes 300-400 ml depending on how good your ingredients are. You can peel the lemon if you don’t like the rind but it gives good flavour if you keep it on.

As for a juice fast, I don’t think I have what it takes. I am trying to introduce more into my diet though as a breakfast or a snack drink. When I run out of my greens this week I will be moving onto carrot and ginger.

Have you tried green juice? What do you think juicing?

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