Homemade Banana Muffins with Raw Cacao Nibs & Peanut Butter Frosting

banana muffinEverybody loves treats or sweet things. Banana Muffins are heavenly little sweet things that you can treat yourself to. They are gluten-free, grain free and taste great with coffee. I topped mine with peanut butter but feel free to mix it up. When purchasing peanut butter; read the label to ensure that there is no added sugar or preservatives. If there is leave it on the shelf and keep searching. I used a muffin tray which made 6 muffins but you can use a bun tray and cases as an alternative.

What you will need to make these sweet things

½ cup Coconut Flour

½ cup Ground Almond

1 tablespoon Arrowroot Powder (gives the buns a light texture, used in gluten-free cooking/baking)

Pinch Pink Rock Salt

¼ tsp. Baking Soda

1 tbsp. Vanilla Powder or Essence

1 tbsp. Mesquite Powder (can be omitted)

1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder

5 Free Range Eggs

2 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted

2 Banana’s

2 tablespoons Cacao Nibs

1 tbsp. Chia Seeds

½ cup Rice Malt Syrup or Raw Honey or you can use 5 Medjool Dates as an alternative

Method

  • Preheat oven 180. Allow 20-25 minutes in the oven.
  • In a mixing bowl add dry ingredients flour blend (coconut & almond meal), arrowroot powder, salt, vanilla powder, baking soda, mesquite powder, cinnamon, cacao nibs and chia seeds. In a food processor add eggs, coconut oil, bananas and rice syrup (or sweetener of choice), blitz until combined. Fold the wet mixture into the dry mixture, combine well.
  • Fill muffin tray or buns cases half way. Pop in the oven – insert a toothpick in the middle of the bun; if the toothpick comes out clean the muffins are ready.
  • Once baked, allow to cool. Smother in peanut butter and devour!

DSC_3437Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

 

 

Homemade Spicy Parsnip Wedges

DSC_3444I am an avid fan of sweet potato wedges/chips for lunch/dinner but parsnip wedges are a great alternative. You can also thinly slice the parsnip and roast a healthy crisp. I spiced things up a little bit and added curry powder and cayenne pepper. They tasted great with my homemade burgers.

Parsnips contain folic acid, vitamin C, potassium, manganese, bioflavonoids and carotenoids. Roast these beauties with coconut oil for maximum antioxidant absorption.

What you will need:

5-6 Parsnips (I used small ones, if you have any left overs pop them in your lunchbox for the following day)

2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1-2 tbsp. Curry Powder

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

Pink Salt & Pepper

How to prepare

  • Preheat oven 180 degrees and line a flat baking tray with tin foil or greaseproof paper.
  • Wash, peel and chop parsnips into wedge like shapes. Pop them into a bowl and pour on coconut oil and spices. Ensure the parsnips are coated evenly.
  • Roast in the oven for about 40-45 minutes until they are crispy.

DSC_3440Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Baked Apples with Greek Yogurt

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“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”  (Virginia Woolf)

Baked Apples for desert is warm, simple and delicious. You could say it is like eating apple tart minus the pastry. Therefore it is classed as a healthy desert with added benefits. For example apples contain vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium and Bioflavonoids. They are also low in fructose (sugar). Cinnamon makes insulin more effective and will balance your energy levels. I used Mesquite Powder as an alternative to rice syrup or honey. Mesquite Powder has a caramel nutty texture and works very well in baked goods. It is considered a high protein, low glycemic superfood. To learn more about this amazing superfood click here.

Feel free to drizzle rice syrup or honey at the end if you have a sweet tooth. In fact you could add any of your favourite toppings like toasted flaked almonds, nut butters or coconut cream. Get creative and experiment.  This recipe is gluten-free, low fructose and bursting with flavour.

Ingredients

6 Apples (one for each beautiful individual at the table)

2 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted

Cinnamon, sprinkled

Vanilla Powder/Essence, sprinkled

Mesquite Powder, sprinkled

Method

  • Preheat oven 180.
  • Core apples and rub/massage coconut oil all over the apple, ensure it is fully coated. Next sprinkle cinnamon, vanilla powder/essence and mesquite powder over the apples evenly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until apples are soft.
  • Remove from oven place on a large plate and dollop greek yogurt on top, crushed almonds and raw cacao nibs.

Seen as it is winter I had a Homemade Hot Cacao Drink made with Raw Milk. I picked up Raw Milk from the Organic Emporium. The milk comes from Mooberry Farm. The Hot Chocolate drink paired with the Baked Apples was a wonderful happy treat. Highly recommended.

To make Homemade Hot Cacao you will need:

1 cup Milk, milk of choice

1-2 tbsp. Raw Cacao Powder or Cocoa Powder

1 tsp. Cinnamon Powder

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

1 tsp. Mesquite Powder

*double up on the measurements if you are making for more than one person.

Method

  • Pop all ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat, stir occasionally. Be careful not to scorch the milk. Once it is heated thoroughly, pour into a mug and enjoy. Add 1 tsp. rice syrup or honey at the end.

DSC_3430Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

5 Super Food Soups

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Here is the latest feature “Super-Food Soups”, I wrote for Fitness Magazine. It contains five healthy soup recipes to keep you warm during the winter months. Click here to view recipes: Super Food Soups

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

5 Reasons Weightlifting Is Better Than Cardio

Strength TrainingSource

Once upon a time I was a girl who believed that lifting weights would turn me into the hulk. I would go to the gym spend hours running and finish a session with a few measly sit ups. Day in day out I would do this. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy running, I still on occasion would go for a run. The problem was all the cardio in the world was not helping me achieve what I wanted to in the gym. Sure it kept me slim but it didn’t actually carve or define any shape on my body. I was remaining the same all the time no matter how fast I ran and I was not developing any upper or  lower body strength. I do believe that each form of exercise works in different ways and each person’s body adapts differently but from experience strength training is up on a pedestal for me.

Long story short I gave up all the cardio and cut it back to 2 sessions per week of HIIT training (High Intensity Interval Training) and introduced compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, press ups, bench press and lunges, kettlebell training and TRX. I rotate workouts between upper body and lower body. My body is stronger and I can see shapes forming. Shapes that never would have formed if I continued on the grueling cardio path. My advice to you, if this situation sounds familiar then you should incorporate strength training into your fitness regime. What have you got to lose? Other than inches of fat. Do not think that you will wake up the next morning and resemble the hulk, it is physically impossible. You would need to be working out and pumping extremely heavy iron to achieve that look.

I read this article on Sweat Like A Pig wrote by Tara Senic and I wanted to share it as I could  relate to it because of my own experience and maybe you will too.

5 REASONS WEIGHTLIFTING IS BETTER THAN CARDIO

In my last post, I said that everyone should find a type of exercise that they find enjoyable in order to stick to it and reduce the chance of skipping a workout. Regardless, I still believe everyone should give strength training a shot.

If you only have time to do one type of exercise, I believe it should be resistance training. Many people are confused because of what is promoted in mainstream media, and they prioritise cardio over weights. That is a big mistake.

I have been working with a client for 20 weeks now. When she first came to me, she was doing high intensity interval training AND steady state cardio every single day, with very minimal weight training. She was convinced that if she stopped doing cardio, she would get fat. I cut back her cardio to just two short sessions per week, and I recently had a proud moment when she told me she didn’t want to do any cardio at all anymore! She could see that her body truly didn’t need it, and she was getting better results from weight lifting alone.

That is just one example. Here are my top five reasons why I think strength training is better than cardio:

1. Weights change your body composition for the better
One of the first things I tell my clients is that your diet is what helps you lose weight, and resistance training is what changes your body composition. Doing cardio does help with fat loss, but it only breaks down your existing tissue – leaving you with a soft,skinny fat look. To get that coveted ‘toned’ look, you need to lift heavy weights. Doing a million repetitions with pink dumbbells is essentially another form of cardio, and it’s not going to change your body shape.

Once your diet is under control, you must lift weights to build lean muscle tissue. Depending on your starting point, cardio is often unnecessary and can in fact make it more difficult to lose the last dreaded 5-10 pounds. When you are already doing an hour of cardio a day and eating like a bird, the only way to continue to lose fat is by eating even less and increasing cardio. Sounds like a nightmare.

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2. Weight training burns more calories than cardio
Many people believe that doing cardio burns more calories than weight training. If you go by the exaggerated figure on your treadmill screen which says you burnt 500 calories during a moderately paced 20 minute jog, then sure. Depending on the duration and intensity of your workouts, it’s most often true that cardio burns more calories than a weight training session.

The key here is that it is only true for the duration of your workout. When you watch Jersey Shore on the elliptical for an hour, you are only burning calories while you are on the machine. The second you step off, the calorie burn stops (I’m talking about steady state cardio). With weight training, although you may not feel like you are working as hard because you might not sweat as much, you will continue to burn calories for up to 48 hours after your workout. Not to mention the fact that for every pound of muscle you build, you burn an additional 50 calories at rest – so you are burning more even when you are not doing anything!

3. Cardio gives you an unjustified reason to pig out
How many people have told themselves that because they ran for an hour they ‘deserve’ to have that piece of cake or bowl of ice cream? I used to do it all the time.  Magazines fuel this by frequently featuring spreads telling you how many minutes of exercise you need to do to burn off certain treats. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as that. You can’t reverse the damage of a chocolate bar by hopping on the stairmaster for 30 minutes, and that is a completely warped way of thinking in itself.

Most people do not seem to come up with the same silly justifications for weight training. In my experience, cardio also increases your appetite far more than weight training does – despite the latter burning more calories overall. In the book the Four Hour Body by Tim Ferriss, Tim actually tells people not to do any cardio at all for this reason.

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4. Weight training gives you confidence
I recently wrote a whole post about how lifting weights changed my life for the better. Lifting gives you a strength that in turn gives you confidence. Knowing that I am physically stronger than the majority of women and even some men carries over into all aspects of my life and makes me feel unstoppable.

I can vaguely remember a handful of runs I went on over the years, but I have vivid recollections of the first time I step foot in the weights area of the gym, the first time I really felt in love with lifting, the first time I squatted and deadlifted my body weight, the first time I benched 50kg, and the first time I did an unassisted chin up. I could go on and on, and I’m sure you could too.

5. Weight training will give you a fine booty!
As I was locking up my bike outside today, a guy commented that all my bike riding is paying off because I have a “fine booty”. Little does he know that I’ve only been riding for two weeks and this booty was built by squats!

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It would be remiss of me to talk about booties without featuring a picture of Amanda Latona – now that is a butt!

Do you think weight training is more effective than cardio?

Mushroom, Garlic & Courgette Soup

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“Good soup is one of the prime ingredients of good living.  For soup can do more to lift the spirits and stimulate the appetite than any other one dish.” Louis P. De Gouy, ‘The Soup Book’ (1949).

Winter has arrived and there is no better way to freshen up the day than with a heartwarming bowl of homemade soup. This soup has immune boosting properties because mushrooms contain vitamin B2 and B3, I used a mix of mushrooms including Shiitake Mushrooms and they contain vitamin C. Garlic will also boost the vitamin C properties of this homemade soup as well as adding vitamin B6, Manganese and Selenium.

I used my own batch of Stock which I prepared a few weeks ago and have stored it in glass jars in the freezer. I sourced the bones locally, from The Organic Emporium. Homemade Stock is oozing with nutrients and bursting with flavour. I would suggest you give it a whirl; however, a stock cube can be used as an alternative.

To make the stock I used: 1kg Kalahari Beef Stock Bones, 2-3 Carrots, 3 Garlic Cloves, 1 Onion, 2 Leeks, a Bouquet Garni, Salt and Pepper. Pop them in a large saucepan or slow cooker, cover with cold filtered water and cook on low heat for 8-12 hours. You will need to strain out the bones and vegetables. Allow to cool. A thick layer of fat will form on top, remove this. Separate liquid into containers and freeze or consume in soups, stews, braise vegetable, sauces or gravies.  For more information visit Nourished Kitchen.

Nourished Kitchen highlights the benefits of Homemade Stock:

“Bone broths are extraordinarily rich in nutrients – particularly minerals and amino acids.  Bone broths are a good source of amino acids – particularly arginine, glycine and proline.  Glycine supports the bodies’ detoxification process and is used in the synthesis of hemoglobin, bile salts and other naturally occurring chemicals within the body.  Glycine also supports digestion and the secretion of gastric acids.  Proline, especially when paired with vitamin C, supports good skin health.  Bone broths are also rich in gelatin which improves collagen status, thus supporting skin health.  Gelatin also supports digestive health which is why it plays a critical role in the GAPS diet.  And, lastly, if you’ve ever wondering why chicken soup is good for a cold, there’s science behind that, too.  Chicken stock inhibits neutrophil migration; that is, it helps mitigate the side effects of colds, flus and upper respiratory infections”.

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Ingredients

1 lbs. Mushrooms (any combination you like), washed and chopped

4-5 Garlic Cloves, finely grated

1 Onion, finely chopped

4-5 Baby Courgettes or 2 large Courgettes

1 tin Coconut Milk

1 jar Homemade Beef Stock or use a stock cube

1 teaspoon Pink Himalayan Rock Salt

Black Pepper

Method

  • In a large saucepan add a tablespoon of extra virgin coconut oil or olive oil, add onion, sauté. When onion is soft add grated garlic, chopped mushrooms, courgettes, salt and pepper. Allow to soften.
  • Pour in coconut milk and stock to thin the soup. Allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Next allow to cool before pouring into the blender. Blitz the soup until the texture is creamy. If you like chunky soup there is no need to blitz it. Pour back into the saucepan and gently heat before serving.
  • I added a ½ teaspoon of smooth cottage cheese and sprinkled dried (non irradiated) mixed herbs on top.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Eat Real, Great Feel x

Coconut & Cacao Bliss Balls

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“To be happy-one must find one’s bliss”, Gloria Vanderbilt

These little beauties are a real treat, hard not to eat the whole batch! They are made from desiccated coconut, cacao powder, medjool dates, cinnamon, vanilla powder, chia seeds, coconut oil and water. Of course you can sprinkle your own twist on them. They are gluten-free, dairy free, grain free and egg free. So if you have a sweet tooth get happy in the kitchen and make Coconut & Cacao Bliss Balls.

Ingredients

1 cup Almonds & Pumpkin Seeds (preferably activated)

4-5 Medjool Dates, pitted and roughly chopped

¼ cup Raw Cacao Powder or Cocoa Powder

½ cup Unsweetened Desiccated Coconut

Pinch Cinnamon Powder

1 teaspoon Vanilla Powder

1 tablespoon Chia Seeds

3-4 tablespoons Coconut Oil, melted

Method

  • Remove seeds from dates and roughly chop.
  • In a food processor add nuts, dates, cacao powder, desiccated coconut, cinnamon, vanilla powder, chia seeds and coconut oil. Blitz until all ingredients are combined. It should have a paste like consistency. If it appears to look dry add a small drop of filtered water until the mixture sticks together.
  • Break off bite size pieces and roll them into firm balls with your hands. Roll the balls in desiccated coconut, place them on a plate and pop to the fridge to chill.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch

Eat Real, Great Feel x