Bite Size Blondies

blondiesRecently, I was researching almond flour recipes and came across a recipe for Blondies. A Blondie is essentially a Blonde Brownie. The recipe I had found online called for ½ cup of coconut oil and 1 cup of sugar. According to myfitnesspal.com a ½ cup coconut = 960 calories and 1 cup of sugar = 720 calories. I challenged myself to re-create the recipe omitting the above and decreasing the overall calorie content whilst keeping the delicious gooey Blondie consistency and texture. Baking with almond flour creates a dense, moreish Blondie, as you can see from the image. Allow them to cool before cutting into bite size pieces, this allows the mixture to set and easier to cut.

The Blondie recipe I re-created used fruit puree as an alternative to coconut oil and natvia stevia as an alternative to sugar. This reduced calories per serving from 205 to 128, however, this is not a reason to over indulge. Moderation is key however; it can be hard to exercise this mindset when presented with these tasty creations. Below is the nutritional breakdown from myfitnesspal.com:

calorie-content

Bite Size Blondies

(Bite size – 20 pieces)

2 cups Almond Flour

6 tsp. Natvia Stevia

1 tsp. Baking Powder

½ tsp. Salt

100g Chocolate Chips

100g White Chocolate Chips

200g Clear Spring Apple & Mango Puree

2 Eggs (2 egg whites, one egg yolk)

Made from Scratch:

  •  Preheat the oven 170, fan oven and grease an 8” square baking tray or line with grease proof paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl add almond flour,  natvia stevia, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips and mix well.
  • In a separate bowl add eggs and fruit puree, combine well and fold into the dry mixture. Mix until combined well.
  • Pour the blondie mixture into the baking tray and level it off with a wooden spoon or fork.
  • Pop in the oven, bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Allow to cool before cutting or it will crumble.

*All ingredients are available in Spinneys or your local supermarket. To read more about Natvia, click here.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Weekend Essentials: Banana Loaf

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People who love to eat are always the best people. – Julia Child”

After a gruelling Ultimate Circuit class in Haddins on a Friday morning or any work out in any country this little number can be celebrated. Enjoy a slice or three and kick back in a leisurely fashion.

The recipe is similar to the Porridge Bread recipe I posted a few weeks ago. It is simple to make and even simpler to eat!

Make From Scratch

10-12 slices (depending how you slice)

  • 4 large Ripe Bananas (3 to sweeten, 1 to decorate)
  • 360 grams Oats
  • 1/4 cup Buckwheat Flour ( if you don’t have it handy, you can omit)
  • 1 large tub 0% fat Greek Yogurt – I went for Glenisk
  • 1/3 Stevia ( I picked up Canderel brand in Spinneys)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. All Spice
  • 1 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 2 tbsp. Shredded Coconut
  • 100% Unsweetened Hersey Cacao (purchase in Spinneys)
  • I added a mix of sunflower, pumpkin seeds to the mix for texture, you could try dried fruits like raisins or cherries.

Bake From Scratch 

  1. Preheat oven 170 degrees (fan oven), 1 hrs baking time for a nice crust.
  2. Mash three bananas.
  3. Pop yogurt in a mixing bowl add bicarb and baking soda. Allow it to fizz for a few minutes. Add the mashed banana and blend together.
  4. For the oats I added 50% to the food processor, blitzed until it resembled a flour consistency. If this is too much hassle, then you can just add all the oats to a large mixing bowl.
  5. Pop oat flour and oats in large mixing bowl – add buckwheat flour, stevia, cinnamon, all spice, shredded coconut, nut and seed mix. Mix until combined.
  6. Add the yogurt and banana mixture to the dry mixture and give it a good stir. If mixture has a dry appearance add 1-2 tbsp. liquid (I used almond milk).
  7. Pour the bread mix into a greased loaf tin. Get the fourth banana and cut in half. Press into the top of the bread. I grated 100% unsweetened cacao on top.
  8. Allow to cool before slicing and slather on the kerrygold butter like me or your favourite toppings.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

 

Peanut Butter, Banana & Blueberry Protein Bites

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Last week I got my paws on Quest Protein Powder – peanut butter flavour, my kryptonite. My source is Sporter.Com. Personally, I find Sporter great. It saves so much time going to the store, delivery is fast and their prices are reasonable. I am not getting paid or sponsored to write this either, they provide a good service.

Moving on, I decided to whip up some protein bites after a gruelling leg session to munch on over the course of the weekend or evening as they don’t last long!

Bake from Scratch Recipe

3 Bananas

2 eggs whites

2 scoops Quest Peanut Butter Protein

1 tsp. Cinnamon

3 tbsp. Biona Coconut Flour

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1 tbsp. Koko Coconut Milk

Handful of Frozen Blueberries – you can use other berries if you fancy.

Make from Scratch

  • Preheat oven 180 degrees.
  • Food processor: add bananas and whip them to mush. Add peanut butter protein powder, egg whites, cinnamon – blitz until well combined.
  • Mixing bowl: pour mixture into large mixing bowl. Add coconut flour, baking soda and coconut milk. Mix well with a wooden spoon. Next fold in the frozen blueberries to the batter.
  • Baking tray: I used a square baking tray (8×8). Grease with kerrygold butter. Pour in the batter. Bake for 20-25 minutes , ovens will vary. I left them till they were golden brown, use a toothpick to poke the centre and check if the centre has set and the bites are ready to come out of the oven.

Be sure to keep me posted if you try and test these recipes by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

Sesame, Lemon & Honey Flapjacks (GF)

_DSC4829“There is no sincerer love than the love of food”, (George Bernard Shaw)

Nothing compares to the aroma of freshly baked flapjacks drifting throughout the house or apartment in my case. Flapjacks are very easy to make and eat! They are great to share with family and friends. I liked mine topped with COYO (yogurt made from coconut milk) or ricotta.

This recipe is gluten-free using gluten-free oats; you could also try quinoa flakes (sold in Lulu Hypermarket). I used a blend of honey, natvia and raisins to sweeten. Also I added lemon oil and zest for the lemon zingy flavour but you can change this to suit your taste buds. You can play around with flavours depending on your palate. Vanilla whey protein powder would be a good addition to boost the protein content but always remember with treats moderation is key.

Where I sourced some ingredients in Abu Dhabi:

  1. Gluten free oats, natvia, chia seeds and sesame seeds – Organic Supermarket Nations Tower.
  2. Lemon oil and vanilla pod – Central Souk beside World Trade Mall. The spice shop beside Nab Juices.
  3. Raisins, pumpkin seeds and desiccated coconut – sold in any supermarket. Sun-maid is my favourite brand as there are no added ingredients, just raisins.
  4. COYO yogurt – I am addicted to this!! It is a vegan creamy coconut yogurt; you can find it in Carrefour in Marina Mall.

Recipe 

250 g Gluten Free Oats or Quinoa Flakes

2 Tbsp. Chia Seeds (alternatively you can use flax seeds)

1.5-2 Tbsp. Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened)

4 Tbsp. Sesame Seeds

2 Tbsp. Pumpkin Seeds

2-3 Tbsp. Raisins

100 ml Honey

3 Natvia Sachets (click here to learn more about this product)

150 ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Vanilla Pod or 1 Tbsp. Vanilla Essence

Zest of one Lemon

1 Tbsp. Lemon Oil

Method

  • Preheat oven 180°c – baking time 20-25 minutes depending on oven (they should be golden brown).

Measure & Mix: measure out and pop in a large mixing bowl oats, chia seeds, desiccated coconut, sesame seeds pumpkin seeds and raisins, stir to combine.

Melt: in a small saucepan on a low heat (just enough to soften, not boil) add honey, natvia, olive oil, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon oil. Gradually stir until it has a runny consistency.

Pour: over the flapjack mixture and stir until evenly coated and the mixture has a sticky appearance. Pop the flapjack mix onto a baking tray and level it off, I used a square one or a round tray would work perfectly too.

Bake & Cool: baking for 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Remove and allow to cool before cutting. Sometimes I am an eager beaver and cut before they are cool; they have a tendency to crumble. The cooling allows them to set.

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

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

Healthy Nutella

Processed with VSCOcam with s5 presetWere you aware that Nutella hails from Italy? Like most, I am an avid fan of this chocolaty hazelnut spread. However, I wanted to make a healthier version to enjoy on my porridge or add to a hot protein chocolate drink. This recipe contains less sugar and no added oil but still not a golden ticket to devour the whole jar; even though I could! Hazelnuts are one of the easier nuts to make butter with in comparison to almonds, which time wise take much longer.

World Nutella Day takes place on the 5th February, so what better way to indulge your nutella cravings than with a healthier version of this rich chocolate hazelnut spread.

According to Grotto (2011) the health benefits of Hazelnuts include:

  • Good source of protein;
  • Fibre;
  • Vitamin E;
  • Arginine ( an amino acid);
  • Folate;
  • Calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Recipe

300 g Hazelnuts

2 tbsp. Cacao Powder or Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (if you like 85% dark chocolate add 4 tbsp.)

4 tbsp. Rice Malt Syrup or Coconut Sugar

Pinch of Sea Salt

Method

  • Roast: Preheat oven 150°C, line a flat baking tray with greaseproof paper. Bake for 25 minutes; check them regularly to ensure they are not burning.
  • Cool: Remove from oven, allow to cool. Gently rub the hazelnuts to remove skin. Some skin will not come off but remove as much as possible.
  • Cream: Pop in food processor and blitz until creamy and runny, this can take between 5-10 minutes depending on the food processor you are using.
  • Once creamy add cacao powder, rice malt syrup and pinch of salt. Blitz to combine.
  • Pour into an air tight container – I use a glass jar. Saving glass jars is a handy way to build up a collection for homemade nut butters.

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

References

  • Grotto. D, RD, LDN. (2001) 101 Foods that could save your life. Bantam Books. New York.

The Great Pumpkin Brownies

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As I stated in a previous post I have started to order vegetable boxes from RIPE, they sell seasonal, organic, local produce in the UAE. Inside the box , on this particular occasion was some glowing orange pumpkin. So, I thought to myself “bet they would taste scrumptious in the form of a brownie”. They have a sweet taste and similar consistency to sweet potatoes too. Sweet potatoe brownies worked, so pumpkin brownies will work too, I figured. Pumpkin is also great in pancakes, breads and pumpkin porridge with some nut butter.

What is so great about Pumpkins?

According to Grotto (2001) the word pumpkin comes from the greek term “pepon”, or “big melon”. The squash, cantaloupe melon and cucumber are related to the pumpkin. Who knew. Pumpkins can be considered for their carving and canning properties. Canning pumpkins are better for baking so varieties like “pie pumpkin”, or “sweet pumpkin”. Pumpkins come in many different colours too like white, australian blue and a red variety.

Grotto (2001:267) highlights the nutritional benefits of pumpkin in the diet as follows:

Good fibre source, potassium, selenium, vitamin A, beta carotene, alpha carotene, beta cryptoxanthin and lutein”.

Finally, lets not forget the delicious pumpkin seeds which are a good source of omega 3 and taste great toasted in a salad.

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Recipe

322 g Pumpkin Puree

2 Free Range Eggs (use chia seeds if you want an egg free option)

2 tsp. Vanilla Powder

2 tsp. Cinnamon

½ cup Coconut Sugar

1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4  tsp. Baking soda

2-3 tbsp. Raw Cacao

1/4 cup Walnuts (break them into smaller pieces)

4 tbsp. Coconut Flour

Method:

  • Prepare Pumpkin Puree
  • In a mixing bowl pop pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut sugar, coconut oil, baking soda, cacao powder, walnuts and coconut flour. Stir all ingredients until they are combined.
  • Grease a square baking tray; pop in the oven 175 degrees for 25-30 minutes, they should be firm but gooey in the middle when baked.
  • Allow to cool, cut into squares.

I decorated mine with coconut butter and crushed walnuts. I melted some biona coconut cream (half the block), added 1/2 tsp. cacao powder and drizzled it over the brownies with crushed walnuts on top.

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

References

  • Grotto. D, RD, LDN. (2001) 101 Foods that could save your life. Bantam Books. New York.

Healthy Buns with Coconut Cream Frosting

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This week I ordered an organic vegetable box from Ripe  it arrived full of delicious vegetables, all locally produced. Inside the box there was organic beetroot. I have always been curious to bake healthy buns using beetroot, so I gave it a whirl and the results were surprisingly very satisfying. So, don’t knock it till you bake it!

Aside from beetroot , I made my own applesauce to sweeten and to add moisture and keep it spongy. This allowed me to omit oil/fat, so these tasty little numbers are packed with vegetables, fruit and low in fat, yet still tasty. Beetroot is a nutrient dense food containing folate , vitamin C, fibre, potassium and low in calories. Its bright colour means it contains anti-oxidants. Apples are rich in fibre both soluble and insoluble. They contain phytochemicals which may play a role in fighting cancer and heart disease.

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I frosted the buns with coconut cream, lemon and orange zest creating a sweet and tangy combination. The coconut cream frosting is basically a block of Biona coconut cream melted with added stevia/honey/maple syrup/coconut sugar, whatever your sweetener of choice is. It is a very simple and easy recipe to create in the kitchen.

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Ingredients

1.5 cups Almond Flour

1/4 cup Coconut Flour

2 large Beetroots, grated (you will need to boil beforehand and peel)

2 Apples (applesauce)

2  Free Range Egg Whites

1 Whole Egg

1 Vanilla Pod

4 sachets of Stevia

1 tsp. Cinnamon

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

Coconut Cream Frosting

1 block Biona Coconut Cream, melted

1.5 tbsp. Honey/Maple Syrup/Coconut Sugar

Method

  • Preheat your oven to 170c. This can vary with ovens.
  • Beetroot: boil beforehand, will take up to one hour. They are ready when soft in the middle, poke with a fork to examine how tender they are. Peel and grate.
  • Applesauce:  wash and chop apples, remove core. Pop in food processor and blitz until smooth consistency.
  • Combine: almond flour, coconut flour, grated beetroot, applesauce, eggs, vanilla, stevia, cinnamon and baking soda into a large bowl.
    Mix: well with a spoon until well combined.
    Spoon: into bun cases in the bun tray.
    Bake: for 30 minutes until cooked through.
    Remove: from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Once they are cooled, prepare the coconut frosting. Pop the block into a mixing bowl and melt over boiling water. Add sweetener and stir until well combined. Cover your buns in coconut cream and the zest of a lemon and orange.

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Be sure to post pictures on instagram of your creations. Follow me @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch

Nourish your body from the inside out x

Coconut & Almond Bliss Balls infused with Cashew Saffron Mylk

coconut almond bon bon

“The body is both a temple and a perfect machine. Our bodies have within them a healing potential, and we nourish this potential with the pure and simple foods found in nature”, Angela Lindvall.

Healthy eating does not have to be monotonous. There is a smorgasbord of food to experiment with in the kitchen to create healthy sweet treats. Staples in the my kitchen for sweet treats consist of desiccated coconut, ground almonds, goji berries, raisins, dates, cacao nibs and powder, different types of raw nuts and rice syrup. Today I made “Coconut & Almond Bliss Balls infused with Cashew Saffron Mlyk”. I could have left out the word “infused” but I thought it sounded more grand.  I recently came across Essentially.  Essentially is a raw juice company based in Dubai. They produce the Cashew Saffron Mlyk its contains cashew, water, agave nectar, coconut butter, vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon and sea salt. We are in the middle of Ramadan in Abu Dhabi and these bliss balls would be a great Iftar treat as they have great Arabian flavours.


What you will need:

1 cup Desiccated Coconut

1/2 cup Coconut Flour (sold in Lulu Hypermarket)

1 cup Ground Almonds

Vanilla Pod

1/4 cup Rice Syrup (sold in Lulu Hypermarket)

4-5 tbsp. Cashew Saffron


Method:

  • Food Processor: add desiccated coconut, coconut flour, ground almonds, vanilla and blitz.
  • Combine rice syrup and cashew saffron – blitz until paste formed.
  • Scoop: use a tablespoon measurement to scoop out the mixture and roll into delicious Bliss Balls.
  • In two separate bowls add desiccated coconut and raw cocoa powder. Roll the individual balls in the mixture to cover evenly (as you can see from the supporting photographic image).
  • Pop in the fridge for 25 minutes before serving.

Be sure to post pictures on instagram of your creations. Follow me @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch

Nourish your body from the inside out x

Sweet Potatoe Chocolate Brownies

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Next time you are looking for a rich, chocolatey, fudgey, decadent treat, bake sweet potatoe chocolate brownies. They are a magnificent combination and you will find it hard not to eat the tray. I made a batch yesterday, needless to say there isn’t much left.

The recipe is gluten-free using a small amount of coconut flour. Coconut flour can be tricky as too much will dry out your baked goods. It is a good fibre source. Sweet potatoes are the star of this creation. They are a good source of vitamin A and Vitamin C. Orange sweet potatoes were used in this recipe. I used raw cacao powder or you can use cocoa powder. Woolworths sell a nice cocoa powder in the baking section. Other key ingredients include coconut sugar, coconut oil, eggs and baking powder.

In relation to coconut oil, I recently found great value at The Coconut Stand in the Fourways Farmers Market in Johannesburg. A 500ml tub of Extra Virgin Cold Pressed for R80 – it’s a real steal. He also sells beautiful brownies made from coconut flour and coconut chips, really worth a visit if you are in the area.

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Recipe

(Makes 9 brownies)

2 cups of Sweet Potatoe (boil the potatoes before using, peel and mash)

2 Free Range Eggs

2 tsp. Vanilla Powder

2 tsp. Cinnamon

½ cup Coconut Sugar

½ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

½ tbsp. Baking soda

½ cup -1 cup Raw Cacao/Cocoa Powder (if you like 90% dark chocolate add 1 cup, if you like 70% add ½ cup)

3 tbsp. Coconut Flour

Method:

  • Boil sweet potatoes until soft, peel and mash.
  • In a mixing bowl pop sweet potatoes, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, coconut sugar, coconut oil, baking soda, cacao powder and coconut flour. Stir all ingredients until they are combined.
  • Grease a square baking tray; pop in the oven 175 degrees for 25-30 minutes, they should be firm but gooey in the middle when baked.
  • Allow to cool, cut into squares.
  • Enjoy with your favourite beverage, fresh berries and a dollop of coyo or greek yogurt.

Be sure to post pictures on instagram of your creations. Follow me @makeandbakefromscratch #makeadbakefromscratch

Nourish your body from the inside out x

Carrot & Coconut Muffins

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Once the weekend hits, it is always nice to bake up some delectable treats to munch on. These muffins didn’t last too long in the fridge, they were gone by Sunday! This recipe is gluten-free, grain free, low sugar content, good fibre source and best of all homemade. When baking with coconut flour, remember to add sufficient liquid to keep it moist. I used eggs in the recipe but for a vegan recipe omit eggs and use flaxseed meal or chia seeds.

Ingredients

(makes 10 scrumptious muffins)

1 cup Almond Meal

½ cup Coconut Flour

2-3 Carrots, peeled & grated

¼ cup Desiccated Coconut

1 tsp. Baking Powder

1 tbsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Ginger Powder

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder/Essence

1 tbsp. Flaxseed Meal (optional – good source of fibre)

4 Free Range Eggs

¼ cup Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

1 banana

¼ cup Coconut Sugar or sugar of choice

4-5 tbsp. Coconut Milk or milk of choice

*you can add chopped walnuts, pecans, chia seeds or dates if it tickles your fancy.

Method

  • Preheat oven 180 degrees, bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown. Grease muffin tray.
  • Peel & grate carrots.
  • Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Blend eggs, banana and coconut oil in a food processor or separate bowl and add to dry ingredients, stir and bind together. Gradually add the coconut milk or liquid until the consistency looks moist but not runny. Coconut flour can be very dry, so the liquid makes it moist.
  • Scoop muffin mixture into the tray, half fill the cup. I made 10 muffins from this mixture. The tray I have only holds 6, so I did two rounds in the oven.  Allow to bake from 30-35 until golden brown.
  • Set aside allow to cool, if you can! I ate mine with slice banana and macadamia nut butter.

Be sure to post pictures on instagram of your creations. Follow me @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch

Nourish your body from the inside out x