Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies!

When I hear the words ‘healthy’ and ‘cookies’ in the same sentence, I usually think “oh here we go again” – a so called ‘healthy’ recipe, which either isn’t that healthy when you look at the ingredients, or it is healthy but tastes prettimage-9y awful and nothing like a real cookie. However, this recipe is a complete game changer! For one, the ingredients are wholesome, nutritious and won’t put a dent in your waistline, but most importantly, they taste AMAZING!
I found this recipe online (I’m always on the look out for healthy bakes), and I just had to write about it. I usually try these recipes and they never turn out like the official photo, but these actually look pretty decent! (I made a few changes as I was limited to the ingredients in my cupboard, so feel free to personalise it too!) So, low and behold: refined sugar-free, good-for-you, chocolate chip cookies! (They look pretty good, don’t they?!)

Anyway, here’s the recipe!

Ingredients:

1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup agave nectar
1tsp baking powder
1tsp vanilla essence
85% dark chocolate (broken into small pieces)

Method:

Set your oven at 180c and line a baking tray well. Then, simply blend the chickpeas, peanut butter, honey and baking powder until the mixture is a smooth paste. Stir in the dark chocolate pieces.
Now spoon the mixture onto the baking tray in even mounds (they can be however small or large depending on the size you want your cookies). Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Make sure you check on them regularly, then remove, let cool and devour!

(Original recipe from zannavandijk.co.uk – there are some awesomely healthy and delicious recipes on there!)

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Blueberry and Coconut Loaf

blueberry loaf

 

Now everyone loves a good slice of cake, but sometimes it’s hard to indulge when you’re trying to be good and watch what you eat. So, I spent my Friday evening experimenting in the kitchen on a mission to bake a guilt-free but equally delicious cakey treat, and this is what I came up with – a Blueberry and Coconut loaf!

Blueberries are super food and there are endless benefits to making sure they are a staple in your diet. As a thin-skinned dark berry, they are lower in fructose (fruit sugar) than many other types of fruit. They are also a rich source of antioxidants and are high in vitamin C which strengthens the immune system, helping to protect the body against illness.

Coconut is an excellent source of fat and is thought to reduce our urge to eat something sweet – the healthy fat in coconut slows down any rise in blood sugar and helps to reduce hyperglycaemic cravings.

This recipe also happens to be gluten and dairy free, so great for those of you who might have intolerances!

Ingredients:

1 cup oats
1 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup natural sweetener (I used Xlylitol but honey could also work well)
3/4 cup almond or coconut milk
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 scoop whey protein (optional – great if you want to higher the protein content)
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
3-4 eggs
1 cup frozen blueberries

Method:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200c

2. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl

3. Once fully combined, pour mixture into a loaf tin (which I had slightly greased with some coconut oil) and put in the oven for about 30-40 mins or until your knife comes out clean when testing.

4. Let cool, then slice up and serve! I even added a spoonful of peanut butter to mine for an extra treat – delicious!

Raw Carrot Cake

carrotcake

 

Carrot Cake is definitely one of my favourite cakes of all time – the delicious mixture of carrots, cinnamon and spices, combined with its soft, squidgy texture is just amazing. However, we can’t go eating carrot cake all day long so here is a great healthy and completely raw alternative – so there’s no worrying about burning anything! This is adapted from Madeline Shaw’s recipe (http://madeleineshaw.com/) – her website is full of amazing home made recipes and healthy lifestyle tips – I definitely recommend checking it out!

This raw carrot cake is completely guilt free and all you need is a food processor/blender, a cake tin and a freezer – could it be any simpler? It has a cashew-nut icing to give it an extra creamy taste and cashews are in fact extremely nutritious. They are a rich source of copper – an essential component of many enzymes which plays a role in a wide range of physiological processes including iron utilization, development of bone and connective tissue, and the production of the skin and hair pigment called melanin. It is also important in energy production and antioxidant defences – so go nuts about cashews!
Carrots are also high in vitamin A and anti-oxidants which help to keep your skin hair and nails healthy, and dried apricots are an excellent source of dietary fibre and are rich in potassium, which is great for maintaining healthy blood pressure.

These whole foods are extremely nourishing as well as deliciously tasty, so why not give this recipe a go and see what you think!

Ingredients:
Base:

  • 100g of dried apricots
  • 150g of grated carrot
  • 2 tbsp of honey (argave nectar would also work)
  • 30g of coconut oil
  • 100g of desiccated coconut
  • 60g of cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of ginger (could also add nutmeg)
  • 40g walnuts (optional – I love walnuts in carrot cake so thought they would go nicely in this too!)

Frosting:

  • 100g of cashews nuts
  • 50ml of nut milk (almond or coconut)

Method:

  1. For the base:
    Grease a small cake tin/baking tray with coconut oil.
  2. Put the nuts and apricots into a food processor until mixed together nicely.
  3. Add the desiccated coconut, spices, honey and coconut oil and blend.
  4. Break up the walnuts into smaller pieces and fold in along with the grated carrot. Then scoop mixture into the baking tray, flattening it out evenly.
  5. For the topping:
    In the (now empty) food processor, blend the second batch of cashews and nut milk until it is as smooth as possible. Then spread this over the top of the carrot mix and pop in the freezer for approximately an hour.
  6. Remove cake from freezer and cut them into potions (I got about 8 slices out of a small cake tin).
  7. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

Sweet potato chocolate brownies!

image-1

Here is a recipe which is quick, simple and most definitely helps to satisfy your sweet tooth. I love baking healthy treats which you can pack in your lunch box or sit down with a cuppa and enjoy. I found a few sweet potato brownie recipes on the internet and adapted them according to what I had in my cupboard, so feel free to take this as a base and create your own variations! Sweet potatoes are a great, nutritious carbohydrate source – they are rich in fibre and full of vitamins and minerals, making them a healthy-living must have.

Ingredients: 

1 medium sized sweet potato
1 tbsp nut milk (I like almond or coconut but normal milk could also be used)
2 tbsp cocoa powder
4-6 squares of dark chocolate (70% and above)
2 tbsp natural sweetener (such as Stevia or Xylitol)
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup ground almonds (coconut flour is an alternative)
1 tbsp melted coconut oil
1 scoop whey protein powder (optional for a high-protein snack)
Handful of nuts/chocolate chips (depending on preference)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

2. Peel and boil the sweet potato until soft. Once cooked, drain off excess water and add the milk. Mash potato until smooth.

3. Add coconut oil and eggs to the potato and mix.

4. Add dry ingredients (cocoa, sweetener, ground almonds, baking powder, protein powder) and mix.

5. Melt 2-3 of the dark chocolate squares in microwave or by using a bain-marie and stir into mixture.

6. Add in nuts/chocolate chips  etc (sometimes I break up another square of dark chocolate if I don’t have any chocolate chips to hand).

7. Pour into a loaf tin or any medium-sized cake baking tray.

8. Bake for 20-25 mins, or until cake is cooked all the way through (you can test this by sticking a knife in it and if it comes out clean then it’s probably done!). Then leave to cool on a wire rack.

9. Melt the remaining 2-3 dark chocolate squares and drizzle over the top of the cake for an extra-indulgent chocolatey taste. Let chocolate cool.

10. Cut up into snack-sized potions (I get about 8 slices from one loaf-tin). Finally, enjoy!