Raw Bounty Squares

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I love the idea of a “Bounty Bar”, mostly because it contains coconut. There is no other reason. This fuelled my attempts to rustle up my own version minus all the added preservatives. I made squares not bars because squares were easier to cut. It is simple as that. You can roll the mixture into bliss balls too or if you have any fancy moulds you can use those to give the mixture a more attractive look. The recipe I came up with is raw, gluten-free, dairy free and low in sugar. Recently, I checked out the ingredients on a Bounty Bar. A bar contains the following:

  •  Sugar (first ingredient, the bar contains very high levels of sugar)
  • Desiccated Coconut
  • Glucose Syrup (more sugar)
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Cocoa Mass
  • Skimmed Milk Powder
  • Emulsifiers
  • Soya Lecithin
  • E471 Lactose (E471 acts as an emulsifier for desired emulsion stability, consistency, smooth texture and particle suspension). Further reading on Emulsifiers
  • Milk Fat
  • Whey Powder
  • Humectant (food additive that keeps food moist)
  • Glycerol Salt
  • Natural Vanilla Extract

All the above ingredients = a Bounty Bar. Long list? Who knew humectant could be so satisfying. Also from looking at the first three ingredients we can see that sugar is added twice suggesting high sugar content. Of course one will need to weigh up their health, nutrition and fitness goals before deciding if this is an issue. From a personal point of view I would prefer to make my own.

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Raw Bounty Squares contain:

  •  2 cups Desiccated Coconut , unsweetened ( I did add a tablespoon of almond pulp from making almond milk but it is not necessary for the recipe to work)
  •  165ml Coconut Milk
  • 3 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted
  • 3-4 tbsp. Coconut Sugar ( I added 3 , sweet enough for my taste buds) /Date Paste
  • 1 tbsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

Directions

  • Melt coconut oil ( I usually put the jar in a saucepan with a drop of water to heat it up and melt it down, medium heat)
  • In a large mixing bowl add desiccated coconut, coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut sugar, cinnamon and vanilla powder. Stir the mixture until it has combined.
  • Pour mixture into an 8×8 square baking pan, lined with grease-proof paper.
  • Pop in the freezer for about an hour, allow to set.
  • Remove and make the chocolate coating, pop back in for 10 minutes.
  • Keep the squares stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

Chocolate Coating: 

Option 1:

5 tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

3 tbsp. Cacao Powder

1-2 tbsp. Coconut Sugar

  • In bowl add all ingredients and melt over a saucepan of hot water, stir occasionally and combine mixture. Once melted pour over the bounty base. Pop back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to allow to set. Keep the squares stored in an airtight container in the fridge.

 Option 2:

200grams 70%, 85% or 90% Dark Chocolate

  • Melt in a bowl over a saucepan of hot water and pour over the base. Pop back in the freezer for 5-10 minutes to allow to set.

 Be sure to keep me posted if you try any recipe by posting on instagram: @makeandbakefromscratch or  twitter:@WhelehanLynne

Real Food Rocks & Cookin’ Rolls x

Refuel, Replenish & Rehydrate

You have just finished an awesome, sweaty, pumping workout. Now you must decide what to eat and refuel your muscles.  There is no set rule for how I eat meals I tend to mix and match what is in the fridge and what suits my needs at that time. My plate can look like a pick ‘n’ mix bag. Load your plate up with veggies, make it look like a kaleidoscope of colours. This post contains three post workout recipes to help you stay on track to achieving your health and fitness goals.

Here is an piece wrote  about Nutrition “15 Myths You Want to Know”. Jeremy Loenneke (PhD student in Exercise Physiology at the University of Oklahoma) dispels the myth about nutrition after working out. Read more nutrition myths here: 15 Myths You Want to Know

The biggest nutrition myth in my mind is the idea that a person must consume protein within 30 minutes of exercise to see muscular adaptation from that exercise bout. 

Although this is known as “fact” in many circles, the scientific basis for such a claim has little data to support it.  In fact, the idea that all muscular gains are lost 30 minutes after completing an exercise bout unless food is eaten doesn’t seem to make sense from any biological perspective. 

Esmarck et al. 2001 is the most commonly used citation to support this “window of opportunity”.  That study took older untrained men (74 years) and had them resistance train for 12 weeks.  One group had 10g of protein immediately post and the other group had 10g of protein 2 hours later.  The group that had protein immediately post exercise saw increases in muscle size, however, the other group saw no change in muscle mass.  The fact that one group exercises for 12 weeks and saw no increase in muscle mass whatsoever should be a red flag because resistance exercise has been shown to increase muscle mass in numerous studies (elderly included) not giving protein immediately post exercise. 

Recently, a well-controlled study by Erskine et al. 2012 presented data in untrained healthy men (23 years) who worked out for 12 weeks.  One group consumed 20g of whey protein immediately post exercise and the other group consumed a placebo.  In addition, participants were instructed to consume only water in the 2 hours before and 1.5 hours after each training session.  What they found was that the muscle size and strength gains following exercise were identical between groups.  This means that consuming protein immediately post exercise did not offer any additional benefit.

The point I am trying to make is that there is nothing magical about placing all of one’s focus onto one meal during the day. There is nothing wrong with consuming protein immediately post workout, however, it is important to understand that it will not hurt ones muscle gains if they wait until they get home or even later to eat a meal. The focus should not be on one meal, it should be on all meals.  A person should focus on consuming adequate protein, carbohydrate, and fat at each one of their meals.  Specifically, one should focus on maximizing their muscle protein synthetic response about every 4 hours and recent data suggests that distributing protein evenly throughout those meals is beneficial.  I would then place their training between anyone of those meals.

For example, if a person’s eating schedule was

Meal 1: 8am

Meal 2: 12pm

Meal 3: 4pm

Meal 4: 8pm

I would recommend that they work out anytime between Meal 1 and Meal 4.  This strategy focuses on hitting sufficient macronutrients at all meals not just one meal.

In conclusion, there doesn’t appear to be anything magical about consuming protein immediately post exercise for improving muscle size and strength. However, although the data doesn’t support this “window of opportunity” it will undoubtedly stick around as “fact” by those who wish to believe it to be true in the face of evidence directly to the contrary.  Remember that all meals are important, not just the post-workout.

References:

Esmarck et al. “Timing of postexercise protein intake is important for muscle hypertrophy with resistance training in elderly humans.”  Journal of Physiology (2001), 535.1, 301-311.

Erskine et al. “Whey protein does not enhance the adaptations to elbow flexor resistance training.” Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (2012), 44(9), 1791-1800.

Oven Baked Salmon with a Rainbow Salad

DSC_3600“To enjoy the glow of good health, you must exercise”, Gene Tunney.

Ingredients

1 Salmon Fillet

Lettuce, any kind, roughly chopped

½ Pepper, yellow or red

4-5 Cherries

Handful Blueberries

Cucumber, thin slices

Flaked Almonds, toasted

Salad Dressing

3-4 tablespoons Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Syrup/Honey

1/2 Orange, juice only

1 Orange Slice

Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Method

  • Preheat oven at 180 degrees.
  • Lin foil with coconut oil, place salmon on top and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Place on a baking tray. Bake for 12-15 minutes until salmon is cooked thoroughly.
  • Cut yellow/red pepper into chunks and place under a medium heat grill. Allow to soften and brown. Cut into strips for the salad. Next, place 1 tbsp. flaked almonds on a baking tray and toast until lightly brown, set aside until ready to serve.
  • Wash and chop all salad ingredients and place pop onto your serving plate.
  • Salad Dressing: Pop all ingredients except orange slice in a bowl and whisk until rice syrup is dissolved and emulsified. Add orange slice at the end. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and serve with meal.  Spoon it over your salad. Store any leftover dressing in a glass jar in the fridge.
  • Once everything is ready , plate up and nourish your body.

Protein Punch: Pumpkin & Cacao Smoothie

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This post workout Smoothie is great to help way to replenish your muscles. It contains pumpkin, banana, coconut water, raw cacao and cinnamon. To boost the protein content you could add a scoop of whey isolate protein (chocolate or vanilla flavour) or one raw egg. A brand I am fond of in South Africa is Absolute Organix they sell a whey isolate or a raw vegan protein powder. If sourcing pumpkin is difficult use sweet potato puree as an alternative.  Sweet Potato puree is made the same way as pumpkin puree. You can store it in the fridge in an airtight container. It works really nice in coconut flour pancakes too.

Pumpkin is a great source of beta carotene, potassium and copper. Adding a banana to a post workout Smoothie will help energize your body, it is packed with potassium an electrolyte. Electrolyte restoration is paramount after a workout. Coconut water adds a nice sweet flavour and is a low fructose drink, full of electrolytes to rehydrate the body. The cacao powder will give the Smoothie a chocolate flavour and is a powerhouse of antioxidants.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Pumpkin Puree (visit how to make Pumpkin Puree)

½ Banana

1 cup Coconut Water

1-2 teaspoon Raw Cacao Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon

*optional: 1 scoop Whey Isolate Protein or Raw Vegan Protein Powder

Method

  • Pop in blender, blitz until smooth consistency. Pour in a glass and add some ice.

Basil Omelette with Grilled Tomatoes, Goats Cheese & Homemade Pesto 

Eggs are a great addition to your fridge. They are very versatile and can used in sweet and savoury dishes.

basil omlette

Basil Omelette

2 Free Range Eggs

Handful Fresh Basil Leaves

Pinch Pink Rock Salt

Black Pepper

Sprinkle Goats Cheese on top, can be omitted

Grilled Cherry Tomatoes

Coriander & Basil Pesto

Large handful Coriander

Large handful Basil

1 Garlic Clove

1 small Chilli, de-seeded

1 tsp. Cumin Seeds or Powder

1 tablespoon Unpasteurised Apple Cider Vinegar ( I use Braggs or Biona)

1/2 cup Cold Pressed Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to season

Method:

  • Basil Omelette: Pop eggs, basil and seasoning into a food processor/blender and blitz until combined. On a medium heat pan, melt ½ tsp. coconut oil and pour omelette mixture into the pan. Cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the egg is set and firm, toss some goats cheese on top. Place under a medium heat grill and lightly brown the top of the omelette.
  • Grilled Tomatoes: Line an oven dish with tin foil and pop in a handful of cherry tomatoes. Place under the grill at medium temperature and grill tomatoes until they blister. I like to brown the skin. I love the taste. I usually store any leftover tomatoes in an airtight container in the fridge and use them in salads.
  • Coriander & Basil Pesto: Chop chilli and peel garlic. Pop all ingredients into food processor and blitz until combined. Pour into a glass jar and store in the fridge until ready to serve. It will keep in the fridge for a week and you can add it to salads, chicken, beef or your favourite fish. I like to mix it into my cauliflower mash for extra flavour.

WIth these recipes you will be on the right path to fighting fit and keeping your body nourished. 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

No Bake Chocolate Chip Cookies

DSC_3804No bake cookies are extremely easy to make and gobble up. They are made from nuts, dates, goji berries, golden flaxseed, vanilla powder and 90% Lindt chocolate. All you need is a food processor, a round or square pan and a small scone cutter. Store them in a lunch box in the fridge or freezer. 90% Lindt chocolate can be purchased in Tesco, Ireland and Woolworths, South Africa. Alternatively you can use 70% or 85% but 90% is the nicest, silkiest richest chocolate ever made. For the recipe I used Medjool dates but pitted dates will work fine too. This recipe is gluten-free and grain free. A great healthy alternative to processed treats and oozing with health benefits, such as:

  • Goji berries are a great alternative to raisins or dried cranberries. They contain high levels of vitamin C which will benefit your skin, immune system and eyesight. These berries belong to the same family as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers and eggplant.
  • Golden Flaxseed is an abundant source of EFA’s (essential fatty acids) Omega 3’s. They also contain vitamin E which is essential for radiant skin as it protects the skin from harmful free radicals. These little bombshells also contain B vitamins and are rich in potassium, manganese, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. These chewy seeds hold the cookies together and also work wonders for your digestion. 

What you will need:

1.5 cups Nut Mix (I used almonds, pumpkin seeds, brazil nuts and cashews)

5-6 Medjool Dates, remove stones and chop

4 tbsp. Goji Berries, soak for 20 minutes before using

1 tbsp. Golden Flaxseed

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

4-5 squares 90% Lindt Chocolate, break into small pieces

The Execution:

  • Soak dates and goji berries in warm water for 20 minutes before beginning the process.
  • In the food processor add nut mix, vanilla powder, soaked dates/ goji berries and golden flaxseed. Pulse the mixture until it has a crumb like consistency. If the mixture looks dry add 4 tbsp. warm water until it holds together. You may need to add more. I added 4 tbsp. and it worked perfectly.
  • Break in chocolate pieces and blitz the mixture until combined.
  • Scoop the mixture into a round or square pan and flatten until it is leveled. Press down firmly to ensure it sticks together. Pop in freezer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from freezer after 20 minutes, grab your scone cutter and cut out the cookies. As you can see from the image I used the smallest shape to make mini cookies. They will need to be stored in the fridge in an airtight container.

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

Raw Carrot, Zucchini, Apricot & Poppy Seed Summer Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette

DSC_3536“Everything in moderation, including moderation”, Oscar Wilde

I am back in South Africa after a three-week break in Ireland. It was a great trip and the weather was similar to South Africa. In twenty years from now people will say to each other “Do you remember the summer of 2013”, for those who missed it , shame. We had the bbq going crazy over the three weeks. As you can see in the above image, the Master Chef a.k.a My Dad is breaking out his culinary skills and preparing the bbq for some succulent Rib Eye Steaks, pictured below. As you can see he is cooking up a creamy mushroom sauce in the pan and will enjoy it with a nice Spanish Rioja, “Finca Labarca”. For dessert, Mam baked pears and apples in coconut oil and cinnamon then topped it with COYO yogurt. COYO yogurt is a dairy free yogurt made from coconut milk “heaven in a mouthful”.  It is important to break out every now and then and that is exactly what I did when I sat down to eat this comforting home cooked feast.

DSC_3548I added my own culinary twists to the mix and made a “Carrot, Zucchini, Apricot & Poppy Seed Raw Salad with an Orange Vinaigrette”.  Carrots are packed with Vitamin A, K and C.  Zucchini or Courgettes are bursting with vitamin A, C, folate, potassium and lutein. They are 95% water. Apricots contain powerful antioxidants and great for digestion. Poppy seeds are an excellent of source B-complex vitamins such as thiamine, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, riboflavin, niacin, and folic acid. The zucchini or courgettes were picked from this abundant garden in Rathdrum, Co. Wicklow, Ireland.

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To make the salad I used:

4 Large Carrots

2 Medium Sized Zucchini’s

6-7 Organic Dried Apricots

1 tablespoon Poppy Seeds, sprinkle over the salad mix

  • Wash the veg. Top and tail the carrots and zucchini. Use a potato peeler and shave off the first layer on the vegetables. Next shave the vegetables in strips as seen in the image above. Shave with peeler until you have reached the core, I ate the leftovers raw. 
  • Chop dried apricots in strips and toss in salad mix. Sprinkle poppy seeds all over the top.

To make the Orange Vinaigrette you will need:

3-4 tablespoons Cold Pressed Olive Oil

1-2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

1 tablespoon Rice Syrup

1/2 Orange, juice only

1 Orange Slice

Coarse Sea Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

  • Pop all ingredients except orange slice in a bowl and whisk until rice syrup is dissolved and emulsified. Add orange slice at the end. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and serve with meal.  Spoon it over your salad.

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

One Pot Wonders

Cover_Jen Fitness July 2013

This is a feature I wrote for Fitness magazine for July-August 2013 called “One Pot Wonders”, these delicious, healthy recipes will keep you looking good and feeling great. Click One Pot Wonders to view the article.

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

Raw Banoffi

DSC_3521Raw Banoffi is a guilt free treat. The recipe is gluten-free, grain free and if you follow a dairy free eating regime just omit the greek yogurt and use coconut cream. Eat it as a weekly treat. Raw Banoffi is so easy to throw together and is abundant with health properties to help you in your quest to super eating. Benefits include:

  • Bananas: packed with vitamin B6, C, potassium, manganese. Bananas are a prebiotic source and this will help probiotics thrive and is helpful for vitamin B absorption. So, hello “Happy Gut”. I topped the sweet treat with greek yogurt which also contains beneficial probiotics to help with digestion.
  • Cinnamon: makes insulin more effective and will help with energy levels.
  • Ground Almonds: packed with vitamin E, B2, K, manganese, magnesium, omega 6, carotenoids, bioflavonoids and phytosterols.
  • Coconut oil: strengthens immune system, increases metabolism (aids in weight loss), improves digestion, boosts key mineral absorption (calcium and magnesium), antifungal and antibacterial properties, provides long-lasting energy and is great for skin and hair.

I used glass jars to serve individual portions but ramekins will work perfectly or you could use a small cheesecake tin. Use what is available. Also when layering the mixture in the jars I added raw cacao nibs and toasted flaked almonds.

What you will need to execute this dish:

Base:

2/3 cup Ground Almonds

2/3 cup Desiccated Coconut (unsweetened version)

4 tbsp. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted

1 tbsp. Organic Rice Syrup or Honey, melted

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon

Banana Toffee Mix:

3 Banana’s

4 Medjool Dates, pitted

1 tsp. Vanilla Powder

½ tsp. Cinnamon Powder

The Method:

  • Base: In a large mixing bowl add ground almonds, desiccated coconut, coconut oil, rice syrup, vanilla powder and cinnamon, combine the mixture.
  • Banana Toffee Mixture: In a food processor add the banana’s, dates (pitted), vanilla powder and cinnamon, blitz until combined and smooth.
  • Layering: In the glass jars (this recipe makes 2) I layered the mixture. First I added the base mixture then banana toffee mixture on top followed by a layer of raw cacao nibs and toasted flaked almond, another base mixture layer, banana toffee mixture. To finish it off I added glenisk greek yogurt, sprinkled raw cacao powder and nibs on top.
  • Allow to set in the fridge for about 1 hour.

DSC_3522Be 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

Savoury Pancakes with Spicy Tomato Chicken & Guacamole

DSC_3515I made this savoury pancake with a sandwich and a chicken fajita on my mind. I came up with a gluten-free, high protein, good carbohydrates version all made in the comfort of my own very small kitchen. If you like sandwiches and chicken fajita then you will love this. Sure, it is no Ploughman’s sandwich but who cares it’s a better version oozing with flavours of chilli, lime and avocado. Eat this delicious creation for lunch, dinner or tea. Become your own health chef and turn your kitchen into a creative cooking hub. I found spare tiles on the balcony; I washed two and made plates out of them. Be inspired.

Pancake mix:

(serves one person, double the mixture if you have guests)

2 Free Range Eggs (1 egg yolk)

1 tbsp. Full Fat Smooth Cottage Cheese

2 tbsp. Gluten Free Oats

¼ tsp. Baking Soda

1 tsp. Mixed Herbs

Season with pink salt and black pepper

Spicy Tomato Chicken 

4-5 Organic Chicken Fillets, rough chopped (save some chicken for lunch the following day)

½ Garlic Clove, grated

1 Red Pepper, chopped

4-5 Spring Onions, roughly chopped

¼ tsp. Cayenne Pepper

1 tsp. Cumin Powder

½ tsp. Chilli Flakes

3 tbsp. Organic Tomato Paste

Pink Salt & Black Peppercorns to season

(* squeeze some lime juice over the chicken at the end of cooking)

Homemade Guacamole

1 Medium Ripe Avocado

Squeeze ½ Lime, juice only

Pink Salt

Put it all together:

  • Savoury Pancakes: pop all ingredients in a food processor blitz until combined. Use a small pan (I used 16cm). Melt ½ tsp. coconut on medium heat, pour half the pancake mixture on, cook on each side for 4 minutes (should be light brown), pour the next half of the pancake mixture. This will make a top and bottom sandwich effect.
  • Spicy Tomato Chicken: Melt 1 tsp. coconut oil on a large pan medium heat, add spices and chicken. Next add chopped red pepper, spring onion and tomato paste. Ensure chicken is cooked in the middle (no pink bits) before serving. Squeeze lime juice over the chicken and remove from heat.
  • Homemade Guacamole: Scoop avocado pulp, lime juice and pink salt into a food processor and blitz until combined.
  • Plate it up as you would a sandwich. I added rocket, dolloped crème fraiche (1 tsp.) on top and chilli flakes.

DSC_3508Be 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