My Sugar Free Afternoon Snack!

So it’s ‘SUGAR FREE SEPTEMBER’ in the blogosphere and I have had MANY requests for sugar free alternatives to satisfy that sweet afternoon temptation.

First things first though –

Sweet cravings usually means you are:

1. Sleep Deprived (go to bed early tonight)

2. Stressed (take one thing off your to-do list)

3. Hormonal (eat the dam chocolate)

4. Reinforcing bad habits by always turning to something sweet in the afternoon.

On the matter of sleep. If you deprive your body of the necessary shuteye required for repair your body will try to ‘repair’ itself the next day.

To do this, your body releases growth hormone, stimulating ghrelin – your hunger hormone.

Needless to say you crave easy, accessible forms of energy i.e. sugar.

Regardless of this rant – I too am human and like something sweet in my life. Particularly with this warmer weather I ADORE ice cream. But I am not keen on most store bought products as they are filled with suspect numbers, soy lecithin and vegetable gums…to name but a few.

Hence, I invented my next best alternative!

Sugar Free, Protein Packed Ice Cream!

If you are keen for ice cream but hate the preservative ridden alternatives and lack time – try this on for size!

Protein Cheesecake Low Carb Ice Cream for ONE! 

Ingredients:
150g of cottage cheese or ricotta cheese (good quality means everything on the label makes sense to you)
¼ cup of water/almond milk/coconut milk
1 scoop of protein powder
Pinch of Vanilla powder
1 tsp of liquid stevia
1 tray of ice cubes (about 10-12 small ones)
1 tbs of Chia seeds (not necessary – they were sitting next to my blender so I thought why not?)

Method:
Combine ingredients, except for water in a blender or magic bullet. Add half the water and blend. If more water is required – add the remaining water. The water is purely to get the blender going – less is more. Puree the mixture until smooth and free of lumps, scraping down the blender as required.

Et Voila!

Serve immediately, otherwise the ice will melt somewhat. (Which is ok – just more of a thick smoothie then)

I love this at the moment- especially with this beautifully balmy weather we are having.

Oh – and for the purists who read my blog – (I love you…BUT) yes this isn’t typical ice cream, made with quality egg yolks and milk. However- as a kitchen cheat – this deserves me a gold medal!

HAPPY FRIDAY!

Green Protein Bar

Ok ok….so I am a huge fan of whole food and believe I should really just have a nice wholesome piece of protein with a suitably dressed veggie…but sometimes (quite often really) I know I am going to be out and about not sitting down when it comes to meal times. In this circumstance I have go to meals that I prepare on Sunday afternoons and bundle them up in portions ready for the week ahead. The key here is simplicity and ease; beautiful bundles that have limited carbs and sugars with maximum protein hit. Think of these as your go to protein bar sans soy fillers and questionable alcohol sugars.

Ingredients

½ cup macadamia nuts, soaked overnight to soften

1 ½ cups of coconut (organic prefereably…or one without sulphites)

¼ cup unflavoured whey protein powder

4 tbs of chia seeds (preferably soaked overnight)

4 tbs of green powder

½ cup water

½ coconut oil melted (or your desired fat;-)

½ tsp of liquid stevia

Process the nuts, coconut, green powder, and protein powder until you have a gummy powder consistency. Add the soaked chia seeds, drained of any excess water, water and coconut oil until combined. Press the mixture into a small pan and refrigerate. That’s it!

When you remove them cut them into portions or roll into balls.

Out of the fridge these babies are dense. Once I wrap them up in baking paper for work, they tend to go gooey…. which is also delightful!

Note: If you want to create a chocolate element to this dish…simply ad ¼ cup of Cacao powder and eyeball a little more liquid.

Avocado Thin Mints

Grain Free Raw Vegan Chocolate Thin Mints. Peppermint Avocado

I am obsessed with making raw chocolate.

It is so unbelievably easy to master and furthermore- it means I have ultimate control over the ingredients I put into my bite size morsels.

I LOVE quality ingredients –

and too often most ‘low sugar’ chocolates are filled with malitol, a type of sugar alcohol from the polyol family. Those suffering from IBS often find that these exacerbate bloating, gas and diarrhea. And while a little of it is OK – over the long term, I think consuming anything that makes your stomach bulge is never  good thing! (And I think most would agree).

In its most base form my RAW CHOCOLATE has 3 ingredients

1. Coconut Oil

2. Raw Cacao Powder

3. Stevia to taste

That’s it. Melt oil, stir in cacao, stir in stevia, whack in fridge, let set and remove.

Cacao powder is a particularly miraculous source of magnesium, a natural muscle relaxant and mood stabiliser – no wonder we turn to it in times of stress 😉

With the array of ‘super foods’ out there, it is easy to get a little overwhelmed. I personally buy Cacao on a frequent basis -research has shown that the antioxidants in cacao are highly stable and easily available to our human metabolism and

with nearly 4 times the amount of antioxidants as Goji Berries, and topping the ORAC scale, 

cacao’s ability to combat free radical tissue damage is impressive.

Finally, out of most the super foods I find Cacao inexpensive, with a little going a long way.

With this basic recipe in mind, I’ve been trying to re-create tastes and textures of former chocolate indulgences that I now struggle to digest.

Hand in hand with digestion issues goes an innate desire to consume foods that really feel settled in the stomach – and not just settle for second best.

Which is why I have managed to create a recipe that allows me to indulge in my love for chocolate and fresh produce.

Why not I say!

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Thin Mints with a Twist

Ingredients

¼ cup raw organic cacao powder

¼ cup organic coconut oil

1 tsp of liquid stevia (or to taste)

1 avocado

1 tsp of liquid stevia

1-2 drops of peppermint oil

Method 

1. Over a pot of simmering (not boiling) water, place a heatproof mixing bowl over the top. Add your cacao powder and coconut oil and melt.

2. Add in stevia and remove from heat.

3. Spoon dessert spoons into patty pans – leaving half the mixture in the bowl.

4. Place in the freezer for 20 minutes or until frozen.

5. While waiting for your ingredients to freeze, grab your avocado and mash the flesh with the peppermint oil and stevia. Taste and adjust sweetness to your liking.

6. Remove the frozen chocolate. Place small dollops of your avocado mixture on top of the frozen chocolate mixture.

7. With the remaining chocolate (you may need to re-melt), spoon a final layer on top of the avocado, ensuring the avocado is sealed from view.

8. Place in the freezer and allow to set.

Remove – Eat- Enjoy.

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Raw Vegan Mango Pudding

'sushi 7-7-08 078' photo (c) 2008, takaokun - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/Hearing that Ricki over at Diets, Desserts and Dogs had been dealing with dental issues – I felt compelled to contribute to her Wellness Weekend competition, with a recipe relegated to the raw vegan invalid in us all (hey – we’ve all been there once in a while)

Last week – I found myself subsisting off a diet of green smoothies, coconut milk yoghurt and makeshift pudding concoctions, after having my wisdom teeth extracted (or should I say smashed with a hammer) on Monday.

Needless to say, I was a blubbery mess and need to console myself with what us girls do best – eating.

The problem herein lay with my inability to eat – largely due to the molten lava wound that was my impacted former wisdom teeth.

So the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and, unable to sit still (despite the dentists best orders) I found myself pureeing, juicing and whizzing a mass of what I can essentially say was glorified baby food. But what good mashy concoctions I made!

Perhaps the most satisfying eat, that will make its way into my diet, post recovery, is this raw vegan mango pudding. Yum!

Given that, over on the other side of the globe, food bloggers are welcoming summer with foods dripping with tropical delights – I decided to take a trip down memory lane and produce a food, entirely unsuitable for the winter conditions that is our Australian reality at the moment. 😉

..but who doesn’t enjoy a good mango recipe?

Macadamia’s also feature in this simple recipe. I often use macadamias over other nuts. Nuts, on the whole, aren’t the easiest thing to digest and I really don’t think we humans were designed to live off large quantities of nuts and seeds. Which is why I am wary of concocting raw vegan extravaganzas comprised of cups and cups of soaked cashews and almonds.

Finally macadamia nuts, compared to other nut varieties are very low in antinutrients like phytic acid, a compound us humans just can’t digest and that inhibits mineral absorption in adults. 

Above and beyond this nutrient rant – this recipe is delicious- goes down with ease and is a perfect comfort food treat come spring, autumn,summer or winter.

Ingredients

  • Flesh of 2 mangoes
  •  1/2 cup soaked macadamias
  • 1 tsp stevia
  •  1 tbs of coconut butter (can sub with 1/4 cup of desiccated coconut)
  1. Soak your macadamias for an hour or overnight in some filtered water with a pinch of Celtic Sea Salt
  2. Drain and rinse our macadamias and place all ingredients into a high speed blender
  3. Process until smooth (may leave a little texture in there…but not if you have had your teeth suitable smashed by a dental contraption known quite simply as a hammer)
  4. Serve in a beautiful glass and once chewing ability has commenced, feel free to top with toasted coconut and bee pollen.

So there you have it – super food for the super invalid.

What about you- what delightful concoctions do you eat when you are not feeling your best?

 

….after more sugar free, vegan delights? Head on over to ‘diets,desserts and dogs’ a fantastic resource of sugar free, anti-candida friendly delights…simply click on the link below and start the discovery! 

 


Hot Peppermint Chocolate

Photo Credit: porschelinn


It’s getting chilly here in Sydney – and we all know at this time of year, how we long for the cold comforts of warming soup, rich creamy mugs of hot chocolate or latte’s sipped from clutched mugs.

Contrary to popular opinion- Winter comforts foods needn’t be relegated to the ‘sin’ basket. Yes- food should be hearty, nourishing and comforting at this time of year. You should never neglect your need to indulge in foods that warm the soul-

which is why I am a huge advocate of comforting drinks that soothe your tummy – rather than leaving it like an inflated pool toy.

This is where my signature Hot Peppermint Chocolate comes into play.

My favourite beverage that calms my stomach and quells my appetite for chocolate (unless I am in need of some fat)

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Ingredients

– Quality peppermint tea

– 1 tsp cocoa powder

– 1 tsp liquid stevia ( I like this brand)

Directions

1. Grab your favourite loose leaf peppermint tea or if needs be a good quality tea bag. I love this brand. It is an intense Peppermint flavour that has a lot of depth. I rarely think tea is indulgent but this brand certainly is!

2. If using loose leaf peppermint tea- remember one tsp for the ‘pot’ one ‘tsp’ for the person rule- so in this case, two teaspoons of fresh tea into your strainer. Place the tea strainer in your bag, along with one tsp of cocoa powder and 1 tsp of liquid stevia.

3. Boil your water, let rest for 30 seconds then pour into your cup. Steep for 3 minutes, remove tea strainer, stir and enjoy!