Saintly Layered Reese’s Tart

A year ago you would have found me eating bars of chocolate like Cadbury’s or Hershey’s  was going out of business! I ate out of stress, boredom, and portion control didn’t even cross my mind. My weakness was a big bag of Galaxy Minstrels(yikes!) or a tray of three Reese’s(yikes, again!) and Barry’s Tea at the end of the day. While I still have a sweet tooth, I like to experiment with ways chocolates and sweets can BENEFIT you. And making sweet treats at home allows me to omit sugars and use raw/all natural ingredients.

This Reese’s Tart came A LOT of Date Caramel that I used in a quick snack: Date Caramel Apple Nachos.

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Ingredients

1 cup mixed almonds and cashews

1 cup Date Caramel

1/2 cup mixed walnuts and almonds, roughly chopped

1 cup dark chocolate

Method

Line an 8 inch round baking tin with parchment paper or plastic wrap(the paper or plastic wrap just makes it easier to remove and slice).

In a food processor, add the one cup of almonds and cashews. Pulse until VERY fine. Press into the bottom of the tin. Pop it into the freezer to set for about 7-10 minutes.

Pour Date Caramel evenly over the base, and smooth out. Sprinkle on the roughly chopped walnuts and almonds. Pop it into the freezer for a second time. for a couple of minutes

While the tart is setting, melt the chocolate! You can do whatever is easier: microwave or stovetop. Make sure it totally melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate over the tart, and yep, pop it back into the freezer for about 12-15 minutes or until chocolate is just a little hard.

Slice it up and serve it!

 

 

 

 

 

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Avo-Cashew Ice Cream

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When I made my Protein Cookies earlier this week, I made A LOT of Cashew Buttercream, so I stuck it in the freezer, thinking I’ll use it eventually. I happened to throw about 3-4 tablespoons of it in a smoothie I was making for my sis and I, it was DEELISH! It added such a creamy texture.

I started thinking how this Cashew Cream is such a great starter for an ice cream! I didn’t want to make another banana ice cream, so I reached for avocados! With their good for your fats, avocados make for a great ice cream base.

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups Cashew Cream

About 1/4 of the avocado- so slice the avocado in half, and then again in half

1/2 cup almond milk (I used unsweetened but whichever you prefer)

1/2 tablespoon of vanilla

Pinch of Pink Himalyan Salt

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Optional: Since this sweet treat has a green hue, add a teaspoon or two of peppermint extract for a Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream! Also optional, more than just that 1/2 cup of chocolate chips!

Method

Put the Cashew Cream and avocados in a food processor and blitz until smooth and blended. Add in the vanilla and almond milk and blend until smooth.17796492_1500259119986239_5436749948448470280_n.jpg

Fold in chocolate chips.

Stick it in the freezer, and wait to to eat at least about a half hour-any earlier it will be more like soft serve, which is also a great treat!

 

 

 

Pro tip(s): Freeze your bowl before putting your ice cream in it. I also suggest using a glass, or Pyrex bowl. Be sure to take your ice cream out of the freezer about 7-8 minutes before you plan on serving it, so it does soften.

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

 

What do you make when you can’t eat junky white processed flour but are a pizza lover?! CAULIFLOWER CRUST PIZZA!!

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Pizettes Two Sauces: Traditional Marinara Sauce and Sweet Potato Sauce

There are SO many more benefits to this alternative-you’ll feel good, which means you’ll look good! Well, I do, ever since giving my food a makeover. I TRY to stay clear of eating white processed flour-and really any sorts of processed foods. So I turn to this Crust Recipe when I’m craving a takeaway. It’s all veggies so it is a guilt-free pizza pie-YUM!

Ingredients

Cauliflower Crust 

(Makes 1 large round pizza or 4 small pizzettes)

1 small head of cauliflower

1 clove of garlic

pinch of Himalayan or sea  salt

Tablespoon of dry, mixed herbs (Oregano, Basil, Parsley)

1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax+3 tablespoons water-rest for 15 min)

 

Sweet Potato Sauce

1 large BOILED or ROASTED sweet potato

tablespoon of nutritional yeast

pinch of salt

Pizza toppings that pair great with this Sauce: sauteeed mushrooms, sauteed onions,  spinach, and walnuts

Method

Preheat oven to 450F.

To make the crust: Wash and dry cauliflower. Cut off the floret. In a food processor, pulse all ingredients EXCEPT the flax egg until it looks like the consistency of rice.

Put the cauliflower in a mixing bowl and add the flax egg.

Spoon the mixture onto a baking tray. Pat and shape with your fingers into a circle.

Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the edges are golden brown (this may take up to 20 for the larger pizza/depending on your oven).

While the base is baking in the oven you’ll want to make your sauce and toppings.

To make the Sauce: Siimply mash the sweet potato with a fork until smooth. Mix in the nutritional yeast and smooth.

Back to the Crust: Take the Crust out and spread the Sauce. Add the Toppings. Bake for another 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

High Protein Cookie Sandwiches

These are really rich, but packed with the good stuff to recovery after a workout! The Cashew Buttercream was just what these cookies needed, as they’re very much a dense cookie otherwise.

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Ingredients

Protein Cookies

1 cup of nut butter (I mixed half a cup of Tahini and half a cup of Almond)

2 scoops of your favorite Chocolate protein powder

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 large egg OR use flax egg*

Optional-walnuts or chocolate chips

Cashew Buttercream

1 cup of cashews*

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1-2 tablespoons maple syrup

 

Method

*Soak cashews for at least 30 minutes in a bowl of water.

*To make a flax egg: Mix 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed with 3 tablespoons water, let sit for 10 minutes

To make the Cookies: Preheat oven to 375F. In a bowl, stir together the protein powder and cocoa powder. Mix in the nut butter until no trace of powders. Then add in the egg, mix well. Fold in walnuts and chocolate chips. It will look just like cookie dough, but the texture will be a but more stiff. Roll dough into balls(about a tablespoon or two) and gently press/flatten down when you place on trays(you can use a fork to make the criss cross pattern). Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Cashew Buttercream: After soaking the cashews in water, put them, along with vanilla and maple syrup in a food processor. Blend until smooth–be sure to scrape the bowl while blitzing to get all of it smooth!

 

 

Cottage Cheese Banana Split

IMG_4213.JPGBack away from the freezer and go for this Banana Split instead! It’s a healthy alternative, and this makes for a great pre or post workout. And SO easy and quick(I’m talking seconds here!)! This is MUCH more tart than the classic ice cream split, so feel free to drizzle some extra honey or maple syrup over the top.

Ingredients:

1/ 2 cup of Cottage Cheese

Teaspoon of vanilla

2 teaspoons of honey

1 banana

A couple of walnuts

A couple of mixed berries

Dark chocolate chips

Coconut chips

Method:

Slice the banana in half length wise. Place on a plate. In a blender, put the Cottage Cheese, vanilla and honey. Blitz the Cottage Cheese until smooth. Scoop the Cottage Cheese on top of the banana. Add your toppings and devour guilt-free!

 

Vanilla Cookie Protein Balls

I was starting to make my Guilt Free Truffles, when I decided to omit the cacao. Two big thumbs up for this vanilla variation! Since hiring a trainer, it’s made me realize how important it is to fuel our bodies with the right foods. Getting enough protein has really helped my body recover quickly after workout sessions. I’ll be snacking on these before and after my upcoming workouts for the next couple of days! I’ve added some flavor variations down below!

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Ingredients:

14 dates pitted (Medjool)

1 cup of cashews

1/2 cup walnuts

2 heaped tablespoons almond butter

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

pinch of sea salt

Method:

Soak the dates in warm water for about 20 minutes. Then drain the dates, and put in your food processor. Pulse until smooth. Take out the pulsed dates, and add your cashews and walnuts to the food processor. Pulse until fine. Add the dates back into the processor, along with the almond butter, vanilla extract, and sea salt. Blitz until everything comes together like a dough. Put the ‘dough’ in the freezer for AT LEAST  15 minutes to firm it up. Then take it out and shape into balls and/or bars! Put them back in the freezer, and take out about a half hour before eating to thaw.

*Add a pinch of cinnamon for a Snickerdoodle flavor (at the same time as the vanilla and sea salt)

*Fold chocolate chips into the dough (or melt chocolate and pour over them!)

*Add oatmeal and top with cranberries or goji berries for a classic oatmeal cookie flavor

 

 

Not Your Average Joe

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This Protein Coffee has been my favorite pre and post workout creamer, in a smoothie, or on it’s own. It fills you up and gives a big boost of energy! You can play around with how much tofu or hemp you use, the more you use, the more it will be like a milkshake.

Protein Coffee

Ingredients (this makes a pretty big batch):

~About 3/4 of a block of firm tofu (start with about half a  block and give that a go!)

3 cups of coconut or soy milk (your favorite non-dairy milk!)

2 tablespoons maple syrup

3 tablespoons raw cacao

2 cups of coffee

Blend the tofu until smooth. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Keep in the fridge, and enjoy within 4-5 days. Can be enjoyed chilled or warmed up!

 

 

A New Direction

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There’s been a little radio silence on my blog, as I have been making somewhat of a big transition! I’ve always been a ‘foodie’, but in recent years, I haven’t had the healthiest relationship with my meals, snacks, and drinks(alcoholic and non). I ate when I was tired, out of boredom, or simply because something looked good. I broke my ankle in June 2015, and my health, physically and mentally, spiraled out of control. I reached my heaviest I’ve ever been (I’ve always been a little chubbier, and never an athlete, and even in my slim days I wasn’t treating my body right) weight wise. Even though it seemed my blog was taking off in Ireland and that I was happy, I was actually pretty miserable.

I moved back to California with a goal in mind: gain back my happiness and confidence(as well as lose a few lbs for my sister’s wedding in fall 2017). I hired an amazing personal trainer, and since December have been working out with her twice a week, as well as doing at home and other gym workouts. I’ve also cleaned up my diet- I avoid processed sugars and white flour and I’ve cut WAY back on my alcohol intake. I’m feeling so much stronger, happier(food has such a bigger role on mentality than I realized), and much more energetic! I’ve also gone FROM A SIZE 14 TO A SIZE 6(ROUGHLY 25 LBS)!! I haven’t focused so much on the number of the scale as much as I have about my level of confidence/how I look in those jeans.

Being much fit and healthier has pushed me to have much more of a direction/have a sense of clarity with what I want my role to be in the food industry. I look at food as fuel nowadays, instead of a stress buster/to pass time.

With that, from now on, cookin’ with me will be MUCH HEALTHIER, CLEANER; and I’m hoping to offer tips and tricks of fitness (like proper form) that I’ve learned so far!

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-Chia puddings have been one of my pre-workouts!

 

How-to: Chocolate Nut Butter Cups

Reese’s Cups HAVE to be one of my favorite chocolates. Here’s a quick little ‘How-to’, to make your very own chocolate cups. It’s messy, and you won’t want to stop licking the bowl, and the result is better than store bought!

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You can play around with the quantity of chocolate and nut butter, as I eyeballed the amount of chocolate chips. I used medium cupcake papers, feel free use the mini ones if they’re on hand, and freeze in a muffin tin to better hold the shape. You can use any nut butter you have in your cupboard, and you can omit the sea salt-but it does add that extra something!

You’ll need (*makes three medium cups):

Roughly two and half handfuls of dark chocolate chips

Tablespoon coconut oil

Three-four heaped tablespoons nut butter (I used almond, but cashew would taste great!)

Pinch of sea salt

Method:

  1. Line the muffin tin with the papers.
  2. Melt the chocolate and coconut oil until smooth (this can be done in the microwave or in a bowl over boiling water in a medium pan)
  3. Pour about tablespoon of the melted chocolate into the paper holders, and stick in the freezer just to set. Keep some chocolate to the side, and keep stirring so it doesn’t get hard.
  4. Once set pour a tablespoon of nut butter on top, followed by the rest of the dark chocolate. Follow with tiny drop of the nut butter, and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  5. Set in the freezer, and keep chilled until ready to eat.

Crush these into ice cream, eat them as are, OR add a teaspoon of raspberry chia jam if you love PB&J combo!

Double Champagne Cupcakes

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I call these my Double Champagne Cupcakes, there is champagne in the Cupcakes and Frosting. These are great for ringing in the New Year, a birthday, or an anniversary–pink champagne would be great for a hen party! Quite easy, but show-stopping for a celebration!
For the Champagne Cupcakes:
-3/4 cup salted butter, at room temperature.
-1 cup of white sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-3 egg whites
– 1 2/3 cups of flour
-1/4 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp baking powder
-1/2 cup of sour cream (or Greek yogurt)
-1/2 cup of champagne
For the Frosting:
– 1 cup of butter (salted)
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-4 cups icing sugar
-5-6 tablespoons of champagne
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a small or medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
3. In a larger mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
4. Add the vanilla and eggs whites and mix.
5. Then add the flour, but not all at once! You’ll add about half of the flour, then add the sour cream, and mix. Then add the rest of the flour.
6. Fold in the champagne and mix until smooth. Don’t overmix!
7. Fill the cupcake liners a little more than half way-or about three heaped tablespoons of batter. (This batter will make about 14). Bake for about 20 minutes.
While the cupcakes are baking, make the Frosting:
1. Beat butter and vanilla extract until smooth.
2. Add half of the icing sugar and mix until smooth.
3. Add champagne, and mix until smooth. Then add remaining sugar, and mix.
4. Add more champagne if you wish(I added a 2-3 more little splashes!)
Ice the Cupcakes once cool. Decorate with edible pearls or sprinkles.