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

Seminyak’s Best Breakfast Cafes

Straight up, Seminyak cafes know good food and coffee. Going out for breakfast has moved going out for dinner into second place. There was an abundance of cafes dotted around Seminyak and each had a leisurely vibe. Once you had one meal finished, the research was underway as to where to eat the next meal. Although, to be honest I was stalking all these cafes on Instagram before I travelled.

Below is a collection of images from my four favourite cafes in Seminyak, check them out on instagram by clicking on the cafe names.

Cafe Organic, Bali

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The Spicy Coconut 

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Shelter Cafe, Bali

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Revolver Espresso Boutique Coffee House

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Have you been to Seminyak? Where was your favourite place to eat and drink coffee?

Wellness Travel: Ubud

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After travelling for over thirteen hours from Abu Dhabi to Denpasar Airport, Bali one cannot contain the excitement of reaching the final destination, Ubud (pronounced “oobod”). Stepping outside the airport there is a sea of people waiting in arrivals to collect tourists, its mayhem. Organised mayhem.

I had organised a driver prior to leaving, Mr Bedu’s Private Tours.  On the road to Ubud, Bali’s craft capital, the colours of Bali come alive. The sky is blue complimented by green terraced rice paddy fields, tropical flowers and mopeds are zipping everywhere. The travel time to Ubud is about two hours, depending on traffic. The streets of Ubud are bustling with locals and travelers filled with an abundance of craft shops, tattoo parlours, temples, museums, restaurants and located in the centre is the market. Ubud is peaceful and serene, life floats by freely and time was of the essence. There are so many things to do and places to eat but with only four days, I had to pick and choose wisely. Below is a list of activities and places to eat.

Accommodation

Booking.com offers accommodation options for all budgets.

img_2058Sunset from Bliss Spa, Ubud

Get Around

Hire a moped – most accommodation provides this service.

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Activities

Yoga Barn  An oasis of calm in the centre of Ubud , there is a cafe and juice bar on the premises.

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Green Bike Tours – Excellent tour and the ride is down hill with the offer of an off road track and cycling through rice paddy fields.

Below is a series of images I took over the duration of the cycle in the countryside of Ubud.

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Campuhan Ridge Walk, Ubud – free and easy trek with beautiful views.

Below is a collection of images taken along the ridge trail.

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Places to Eat

Clear Café Vegetarian Cafe with a delicious breakfast menu.

img_2418Buckwheat Pancakes with Strawberries

Alchemy Raw. Vegan. Organic.

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La Pacha Mama Plant-based Cantina Mexicana & Cocktails

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The Elephant Cafe  100% VEGETARIAN 110% AWESOME

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Kafe Great Music, Healthy Foods, Yummy Desserts & True Espresso. I came across Kafe walking home from yoga. It has lovely salad options and sells local beer and wine.

Room 4dessert offers handmade desserts, cocktails and wine.

Have you travelled to Ubud? What is your favourite memory?

Grecian Adventure Part II: Santorini

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“Suppose we suddenly wake up and see that what we thought to be this and that, ain’t this and that at all?” , Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac.

Better late than never Santorini part two. Santorini, one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea. It boasts spectacular views, sunsets, colourful doors, white washed walls, beaches, cliff hikes, boat rides and vibrant flowers. You can walk for hours through the little streets browsing through the boutiques and sipping an espresso freddo whilst watching the day pass soaking up the ambience.

Accommodation

For accommodation booking.com offers a wide range based on budgets.

Below is a series of images taken in Santorini between Fira and Oia.

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Have you been to Santorini? What is your favourite memory?

 

Grecian Adventure Part I: Athens

AcropolisArcopolis, Athens

“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.” 
― Jack Kerouac

Last week I travelled to Athens and Santorini. I had heard mixed reviews about Athens but Santorini boasts a glowing report. Why wouldn’t it, have you seen the pictures? I put the opinions of others to the back of my mind regarding Athens and decided I would make up my mind after my adventure. Needless to say, I appreciated Athens for all that it offers. It is a diamond in the rough. Santorini will be discussed in Part 2.

However, the only downfall is the challenge of procuring a nice healthy breakfast in the Plaka district at 9am on the weekend because nowhere opens till 11am. What the Greeks do well is an espresso freddo , of course they do other things well but I loved an  espresso freddo or three on the regular. So much so, I am trying to re-create it now I am back in Abu Dhabi. A friend recommended places in Athens too, that appeal to the health and fitness fanatic in me.

Accommodation

For accommodation in Athens I used booking.com and stayed in the Plaka District. This was central and it was convenient for walking all around the city.

What to do

The city is huge and you can wander around all day admiring the architecture  of Athens, there are many cafes and bars throughout the city and the more you explore the more intriguing Athens becomes.

Derelict building.jpgDerelict buildings, there is many thoughout the city

_DSC5952.jpgStrolling through the National Park, Athens

Watch the Sunset at Parko Thiseio. As you can see numerous gather with wine, guitars and food to watch the sunset over Athens on a giant marble rock, do not wear heels, I wore trainers.

Parko Theiso

Parko Theiso 2View from Parko Thiseio, Athens

Walking Tour

Athens Free Walking Tour : This tour was brilliant it lasted about 2.5 hours which takes you to all the main areas around the city – see images below. The tour is free but you can tip. Entrance to Acropolis is not provided with the walking tour because it is free. I emailed a few days before arriving to secure places on the tour as spaces are limited. You will learn about the history of Greece.

Temple of ZeusThe Temple of ZeusStreet ViewStreet View, AthensStreet GraffitiStreet Graffiti , this is prevalent throughout AthensNational GardensPalm Trees in National Garden, Athensolympic stadium 2Flags at the Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

olympic stadiumPanathenaic Stadium, seats 75,000 peoplestreet artStreet Art in the Plaka District, AthensFlowers

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Blue DoorThe last three images are of front doors or gates to houses in the Plaka Districtwhere is my mind.jpgWhere is my mind? Plaka District

Food, Fun & Frolics

Athens is jam packed with restaurants. It is a late city and there is a great buzz about the place from 8pm onwards. Strolling the streets and from recommendations I discovered these little gems which will appease the taste buds of meat eaters and vegans.

Avocado, Plaka District- delicious salads

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Evgenia, Athens, Plaka – Dakos Greek Salad

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Nolan, Plaka District. Greek food with pan asian twist

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Ipitou the Bar – this bar is cool and plays good tunes, it is close to Nolan restaurant and surrounded by other chilled out bars.

Ipitou Bar

Other restaurants not pictured, I recommend include Koi which serves sushi at a great price and Pure Bliss which serves local produce and delicious salads, it is very laid vibe where you could sit for hours drinking espresso freddo, sampling local wine and eating scrumptious food. Located in the same area as Pure Bliss, there are countless bars and cafes.

Fitness

No trip is complete without a gym session. Whilst in Athens I got a chance to to break a sweat in Planet Fitness, they offer a pay as you service which is handy and the gym is  central. See Planet Fitness for more information.

Concluding, Athens was fantastic trip filled with history , long walks,  traditional greek food and wine, chilled out bars, street graffiti, espresso freddos,a few gym sessions and a new passion for front doors.

 

 

Brunch by the Ocean

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Sun is shining, cool breeze blowing through the palm trees, glass is frosted ready to sip a passionfruit mojito, you can hear the laughter from tables as the band “Cuba Libre”, play music on the terrace. This enchanting place allows one to unwind and escape the madness of a busy week, “Chino Latino“, brunch by the ocean at Asia De Cuba and you can even have cake, just like the song!

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The dishes are cuban flavours with an asian twist. There is ceviche,  shrimp salad , BBQ meats, fresh seafood , tropical fruit and cheesecake lollipops. Feast your eyes on the mouth watering dishes.

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Choose from three different packages: the cleanser at 325 AED, the live mojito at 425 AED or the Champagne brunch priced at 525 AED. For more details visit Asia De Cuba

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it.

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

 

Salted Caramel BB Brownies

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At the moment I am loving black beans in savoury and sweet formats. They are versatile little bundles and great in your lunch box or dessert. At the beginning of the week I make a black bean salad – 2 tins (rinsed), tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tbsp. toasted sesame oil, 1  tamari sauce, tbsp. garlic & chilli flakes, lemon or lime juice, salt and pepper. Add avocado or roasted cube sweet potato to the mix to hit them macronutrients.

Today, I am writing about the sweet side of black beans and a creation called “Salted Caramel BB Brownie”.

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To make these delectable BB brownies from scratch you will need to acquire the following:

Recipe

2 tins Black Beans – ( rinse and dry) – I used Epicure brand from Lulu’s Hypermarket they have no added salt.

14-15 Dates (these are used to sweeten and added for caramel texture)

2 Tbsp. Instant Coffee

1 Tbsp. Almond Milk or milk of choice

1/4 cup Stevia

1/3 Cacao Powder

1/4 tsp. Baking Soda

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt, will sprinkle more on top at the end.

2 Eggs ( use 2 Tbsp. flax or chia seed for egg substitute mixed with water prior to baking)

2 Tbsp. Rice Malt Syrup/Honey

  • add chopped nuts, raisin, orange peel, coconut nut, cherries for extra texture.

Make from Scratch

  • Preheat oven , 170 degrees , fan oven. 8×8 baking tray lined with greaseproof paper (handy stuff , saves on washing time in the kitchen).
  • Blitz black beans in food processor till smooth mixture. Add 2 eggs, stevia, cacao powder, baking soda, salt. Mix in processor until combined.
  • In separate bowl add 10 dates, 2 Tbsp. instant coffee, almond milk, rice malt syrup/honey – use hand blender to create a smoothie like texture, it will be thick. This is used to sweeten the brownie mix. Chop the remaining dates into small pieces add some to the bb brownie mix and leave some to sprinkle on top.
  • Pour the black bean brownie mix into a large mixing bowl followed by the date & coffee mixture. Combine and fold the mixture.
  • Pop into lined baking tray. Sprinkle dates and coarse sea salt flakes on top.
  • Allow to bake for 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Drizzle honey or dark chocolate for richness on top at the end before devouring. Store in fridge once cool and if there is any leftover.
  • Enjoy with homemade protein ice-cream and peanut butter.

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

 

A Health Guide to Melbourne

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I recently had the pleasure of travelling to Melbourne for a week. On my trip I discovered many scrumptious health food cafes and shops in the Prahran and Brunswick area.

A good place to lie your head

For accommodation I sourced it on Air B&B , it was very central perched in the middle of Chapel Street, perfect location.

St George Accommodation –  the ultimate cosmopolitan lifestyle is right outside the door on the vibrant Chapel Street in the heart of stunning South Yarra.

Chow Down

Top Paddock – this place is packed on Sunday morning , bit a waiting time but worth it.

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Isit Cafe 

Quinoa Bircher or Porridge are delicious and almost too pretty to eat.

Tall Timber

Good food. Good coffee. Good people. That simple!

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The Kettle Black

Seatrout Salad with Poached Eggs.

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Mr. Miyagi

Walk in restaurant and the waiting list can be at least two hours – worth the wait , Nori Taco’s are a must try.

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Tokyo Tina nice place to chill on a Sunday evening whilst devouring this deconstructed Nori Roll.

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Smith & Daughters

Delectable vegan food bursting with flavours.

Stores

The Source Bulk Foods

♻️ Zero waste grocery shopping!! ♻️ 26 amazing bulk wholefood stores all around Australia.

Here I picked up freshly made grain free cacao granola, peanut squares and cacao nibs covered in dark chocolate for the flight back to Abu Dhabi.

Prahran Markets

Prahran Market is proud to be Australia’s premier food market, famous for fine fresh produce, hard to find specialty items and good old fashioned service sealed with expert advice.

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Break a Sweat

Goodlife Health Club

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Gold Dust

Mister Nice Guy’s Bakeshop

Melbourne’s first vegan bakery. Est 2010. Specialising in vegan, kosher, sugar + gluten free baked goods, shakes + deli sandwiches. I got this delicious vegan chocolate cake, smile on my face says it all and we celebrated in Brother Wolf Barber & Shaving Parlour.

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Journeyman

|| Speciality Coffee || Breakfast || Brunch  || Lunch ||

Enough said, double drool.

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Butterbing™ Cookie Sandwiches

Melbourne’s OG brownie cookie sandwich. Est. 2014 in our little home kitchen. This is a gluten free chocolate cookie sandwich with peanut butter. No words are needed to describe this, the picture says enough.

Sold in Darling Cafe 

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Be sure to keep me posted if you check out any of these places  by posting on Twitter: @WhelehanLynne or Instagram @makeandbakefromscratch #makeandbakefromscratch and Facebook: Make & Bake From Scratch

Eat the rainbow, don’t chase it x

Wellness Travel: Vietnam

Vietnam

The novel “On the Road”, by Jack Kerouac instills a personal belief that life is an adventure on the road, throwing caution to the wind, visiting and embracing new cultures across the world. Each adventure is wild, it casts light on different perspectives of how people live and that is an invaluable life experience.

Travel

On a recent trip to Vietnam I visited Ho Chi Minh City and Dalat City. As a Wellness Enthusiast, I research health & wellness places prior to travelling. Back in 2009, I would have been hanging from the rafters in Gullivers Tavern in a sea of sam song on Khao San Road, Bangkok. Things change, people change-that is life.

The best way for me to describe Vietnam is colourful. I rooted out  healthy food places in Ho Chi Minh and completed a 70km cycle in Dalat to Nha Thrang. Below I discuss healthy hotspots in HCMC and Phat Tires Bike Trip.

Healthy Hot Spots in Ho Chi Minh City 

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The Kafe

The Kafe is a socially conscious, community-oriented company with a “people first” mentality. The Kafe envisions a world where every person has a healthy and fulfilling lifestyle, with food being a primary foundation to help them achieve that lifestyle goal.

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Tropic land Coffee & Juice Bar

Tropicland serves a chilled Coconut & Aloe Vera juice. Nice pit stop whilst exploring the city.

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L’Usine

The food philosophy is simple, good food, done well. L’Usine offers healthy salad options, Vietnamese coffee and all food is locally sourced.

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HUM Vegetarian Cafe

HUM offers a wide range of vegetarian options to satisfy your hunger. I recommend the banana lotus salad and rice paper rolls with chilli sauce.

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Baba’s Kitchen

Baba brings India to HCMC. Located on the bustling Bui Vien Street and worth the visit if you are fond of Indian cuisine.

Dolphy Cafe

Dolphy Cafe is a quirky coffee shop offering free wifi, coffee and fresh juices.

 

Kokois.Cafe.Bistro.Lounge.Store

The venue is a renovated warehouse, bright and spacious with a nice and busy cafe at the front and a cosy and quiet lounge in the backyard garden.

The food is simple, modern and inspired. The store features a selection of tasteful and quality fashion, accessories, gifts and home deco.

Street Food Tours

Most hotels/hostels have street food tours held in the evening time. Street food tours are a great way to explore the city , walk through various districts and taste vietnamese cuisine.

Dalat City 

Quote from Lonely Planet “You would almost be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled into the French Alps in springtime”, Read more here: Dalat City by Lonely Planet .

This was the mind blowing view from the bike trip with Phat Tire, Vietnam. The cycling trip was from Dalat to Nha Trang which averaged at 70km. It was a fun way to experience  rural villages,cycle through a rain forest and inhale the fresh air. There is a break mid way which includes lunch in a local restaurant.

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Mountain Top View – Xa Son Thai, Khanh Vinh, Vietnam.

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A village along the route from Dalat to Nha Thrang.

How do you like to keep stay healthy on holidays?