Monthly Archives: January 2015

Healthy Chocolate Breakfast Smoothie

Healthy Chocolate SmoothieWho doesn’t like chocolate for breakfast? I regularly want to just have a chocolate bar for my breakfast but restrain myself. So a chocolate smoothie, especially one with healthy ingredients, is a great choice.

I discovered raw cacao a few years back and went through a phase of having it most mornings. It gave me a kind of buzz and set my day off to a great start. But as my health slowly improved, I got lazy and more and more went for ready made granola or cereal for breakfast because it was quicker and easier.

Nut butters are another great ingredient that I enjoy but haven’t properly introduced into my diet yet. I don’t really enjoy the all natural ones on rice cakes and still much prefer peanut butter with a little added sugar and salt. I am working on it though and found a really nice smooth peanut butter that is 100% peanuts. The other thing that puts me off is that you have to stir them and when they are quite full the oil ends up spilling over the sides and making the jar oily forever. But in smoothies I do like them. They add a creaminess and depth, along with a dose of healthy fats and energy.

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

Recipe (per person)

1 small Frozen Banana

1 heaped tbsp Hazelnut Butter

1 heaped tbsp Raw Cacao Powder (or Cocoa Powder)

Unsweetened Almond Milk (about a cup)

Optional:

1 tbsp Maple Syrup (or replace with preferred sweetener)

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

2 tbsp Gluten Free Oats

Blend everything up and serve. If you are using a fresh banana rather than frozen, throw in a couple of ice cubes to make it cold and thicker.

Healthy Chocolate Smoothie

Having this for breakfast feels like such a treat but it’s completely healthy and full of ingredients that will keep you going all morning (or until snack time!).

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Pecan and Date Cupcakes and Traybake

Pecan Date CupcakesCan these be called cupcakes without frosting? Well I am calling them cupcakes, although my mum would probably call them fairy cakes. Either way they are delicious. I love putting dates in my baking because they go all caramelized and syrupy. And then there are the pecans. I love how they soften slightly but still give a lovely bite.

Baking in paper cases is great for portion control too. If I bake one big cake I tend to have a much bigger piece than I would with cupcakes. Plus the clean up is much easier! As you can see, I had a mixture of different designs that need using up so I went for a mismatch. Yes some are christmas themed, and no, I didn’t bake them at christmas. It was only a week or so after so it must be ok.

Even my cat loves these cakes. I let her have a tiny bit (without nut or date) and she climbed on my shoulder for more. She’s a strange creature.

Pecan Date Cupcake

Recipe

4oz/115g Gluten Free Self Raising Flour

4oz/115g Unrefined Sugar

4oz/115g Vegan Margarine (not hydrogenated)

2 eggs (or egg replacement)

1 handful Chopped Pecans

8-10 medium/large Dates, stoned and chopped

Cream the marg and sugar until light and smooth. Beat in the eggs and then fold in the flour, along with the nuts and dates. Spoon in to cases and bake at 180c/160c fan for 10-15 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean.

As simple as that! I made the same recipe about a week after but used walnuts instead of pecans, and baked it as a tray bake rather than cupcakes.

Walnut Date Traybake

Both were delicious and used up left over dates and nuts. I always feel better about having a baked treat if there is something healthy in there, whether it be grated veggies, nuts or oats.

Vegetarian Breakfast Bake

Vegetarian Breakfast BakeI am pretty lazy when it comes to a week day breakfast but like to bring out the veggies and eggs at the weekend. You can definitely make this without the egg, maybe even sub for some vegan sausage or tofu, but I am loving eggs at the moment and feel good about eating them as they are very nutritious for my growing bump.

Some weekends it can be hard to get off the sofa or out of bed, especially in the colder months, so cooking something warm and delicious is the best way to motivate yourself. I like to make a late breakfast and spend the morning with my boyfriend before we head out and do whatever it is that we need/want to do. Those are the best weekends and I can’t wait for our daughter to arrive to share those with us.

breakfast

So back to the recipe. You can use what every you like, but this is how I did it.

1 small/medium potato per person

1/2 orange pepper per person

2 plum tomatoes per person

1 egg per person

1 tbsp coconut oil

salt and pepper

dried sage

Chop up the potato, skin on, and the pepper and tomato. Melt the coconut oil in your baking dish and add the potato, seasoning and sage. Let that bake in a medium oven for about 10 minutes. Add in the pepper and tomatoes and make a space in the middle for the egg and crack it in. Bake until the potatoes are tender and the egg is cooked to your liking. If you want a really runny egg, leave the potatoes in a bit longer on their own so they will be tender when your egg is done. I cooked mine all the way through as I am pregnant.

I didn’t have any fresh tomatoes in so I used tinned plum tomatoes. I think the addition of onion would work well, or anything that needs using up in the fridge. It would also be nice with sweet potato instead of white potatoes. You can even melt on a little lactose free or vegan cheese at the end like I did.

Breakfast Bake