Beat the Bloat Berry Smoothie

Bloating sucks! It’s a really uncomfortable feeling, so I like to get rid of it ASAP! My secret weapon: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR! I drink a tablespoon of it a day, either right when I wake up or about a half hour before I go to bed. But I also like to put a big splash in my midmorning or lunchtime smoothie.

I do like to drink this smoothie a couple times a week, it’s refreshing, and I do find it helps with the bloat. If I’m making this after a workout, I like to add a scoop of protein powder.IMG_3999.JPG


8 ounces of liquid (I like to do half water/half coconut milk)

1/2 avocado

1 banana

1/2 cup of frozen berries

1 tablespoon hemp heart seeds

1 tablespoon ground flax meal

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Optional: a tablespoon of nut butter/a scoop of your favorite protein powder


In your food processor, blend until smooth! You might need to add a little more water as you go! I like to put my smoothies in a bowl, so I like when smoothies have more of a sorbet/ice cream texture.






Raw Cacao Toasted Hazelnut Milk

A glass of this washed away any Monday blues I had! I also had to to have a little glass to celebrate I only have ONE more physio session for my ankle to attend YYAAYYY, and I can start pilates…this is huge!! Not being able to run has had a huge impact on me physically and mentally, more than I thought. But before I broke my ankle, I was getting back into my fitness; I found running was such a stress buster, it just felt good.

This tastes like Nutella, and I can’t wait to put a big splash in my morning coffee! Toasting the nuts adds that extra element of flavor. And it was a bit of an experiment toasting the hazelnuts but it came out really nicely! IT’S JUST DIVINE!


Raw Cacao Toasted Hazelnut Milk


1 cup of hazelnuts

water for soaking AS WELL AS 3 cups of water(the three cups you’ll be putting in blender)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons raw cacao powder

pinch of sea salt

Optional: teaspoon or two of agave nectar if you want it sweetened


I suggest turning this recipe into a two-day project!

Preheat the oven to 180C (360F). On a baking tray, toast the hazelnuts until the skins are blistered(about 12 minutes). Wrap the nuts in a tea towel, and rub until the skin falls off. Let the hazelnuts cool. Once the nuts are cool, in a large bowl, cover the nuts with water. Leave to sit for about 8 hours, or overnight.

Drain the hazelnuts the next day, or after the 8 hours. You can toss the water, as you won’t want to use this in the milk. Give the hazelnuts a little rinse.

Put ALL ingredients (soaked hazelnuts, cacao, 3 cups of water, sea salt and vanilla) in a blender and blitz on high until the hazelnuts are minced!

Strain milk and blitz again if you want it even smoother. To strain: use a VERY fine sieve or cheesecloth. Tip: You can use the leftover pulverized hazelnuts in smoothies or baking! Avoid food waste if you can!

Store milk in sealed container in fridge, and enjoy!



Raw cacao hot chocolate using OAT MILK

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

Last night I had a really vivid dream of swimming pretty fiercely, and I think I was actually kicking in my sleep because I woke up and my ankle was not happy with me! Between that and the cold spell this evening, I’m really feeling where I had ankle surgery (yuck!). So I needed a pick me up! Hot chocolate with fluffy marshmallows is always a winner! I didn’t have any non-dairy milk left, so I decided to make a Saturday project: OAT MILK! I’ve been seeing it in stores and have bought it in the past, so I decided why not! I do(and can) drink dairy, but my body tolerates non-dairy so much better.

So here is a recipe for oat milk.  I warmed up a cup and added raw cacao powder and coconut sugar to, and made hot chocolate! (I topped it off with marshmallows but that’s totally up to you!)

3 cups rolled porridge oats

I used about 8 cups of water (the water should cover the oats)

pinch of salt

In a large bowl, soak the oats, water, and salt for about 6 hours (overnight if you can!). Then blitz the mix in a blender for about 3 minutes. Pass through a sieve into a jug-and that’s your oat milk!

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

You can sweeten it, or flavor it with vanilla, cinnamon, etc!

*I used the ‘mulsh’/oats in sieve to make my oat pancakes (I hate wasting food!)! Click here for that pancake recipe!

c. hall 2015
c. hall 2015

Barry’s Tea Cupcakes and White Chocolate Frosting

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

This is my new favorite cupcake! It’s a fluffy vanilla cupcake with a twist! And it’s celebrating Irish produce, and I’m all about supporting and promoting local. These would be a perfect recipe for ‘high tea’ (just make them mini cupcakes, and they’d be so cute!), Mother’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, or an awesome birthday gift for a tea-lover (which living here, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t like tea!).

The frosting is only two ingredients and makes for a nice alternative to the usual buttercream or cream cheese frosting I make.

Barry’s tea cupcakes: (This makes about 8-10 cupcakes, depending on the size you want)

4 tea bags

1/2 cup milk (whole or low-fat)

1/2 cup of butter

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 175C. In a small saucepan, bring milk to a boil, add the teabags and let seep for about 10-12 minutes or more. The longer, the better and stronger flavor. While you’re letting the tea seep, in a mixing bowl cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs the eggs ONE AT A TIME. Then add your vanilla, followed by the milk (minus the tea bags!). Add in the flour, but by bit (as you do, be sure to scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl as you go!). Divide the batter into the paper cups, and bake for approximately 12 minutes or until golden brown. While cooling, make your frosting!

For the frosting: (This is a small batch, but can easily be doubled)

1/2 cup of butter

1/2 cup white chocolate (chips, chopped, whatever you have!)

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and white chocolate over a low to medium heat. Give a good stir, it will look like the butter and the chocolate are separating-that is okay! When melted and smooth, take off heat and bring to room temperature. Then stick the saucepan in the fridge until it solidifies (Have to play the waiting game, but so worth it!). Then beat until a smooth frosting!

Avo-cacao shake–a healthier chocolate milkshake

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

So last night I indulged in a little bit of my cheddar and thyme risotto(which I’ll share the recipe for that in next couple of days!)-I think I just needed comfort food after traveling from Dublin! It was clean eating for me today, and that included an avo-cacao shake! A feel-good version of a chocolate milkshake! So quick, and it was a perfect pick-me-up!

Avo-cacao shake (serves 1):

1 ripe avocado (pitted)

1 cup of almond milk

3 tablespoons cacao powder

I used about 2 drops of agave nectar(feel free to add more if you have a sweeter tooth than me!)

3 ice cubes

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smmmoootthh! Enjoy, and be sure to tag #cookinwithcarmel if you make this!

Crazy Good BBQ Sauce

c.hall 2015
c.hall 2015

About three years ago I visited my friend in Texas, where I was introduced to homemade barbecue sauce. Ever since, I have been hooked! I have even said “I could drink bbq sauce!” There are so many varieties out there, so many brands, but so many additives. Why not bring a jar of your homemade bbq sauce to your next spring/summer grill out? Your friends and family will be highly impressed. I flavored mine with honey and whiskey(today happens to be National Whiskey Day!) and it’s lovely on sliders or pulled pork sandwiches!


Carmel’s Crazy Good BBQ Sauce: 1 onion-chopped 4 cloves of garlic-chopped 1 can of chopped tomatoes 2 tablespoons tomato paste ½ cup of brown sugar 2 tablespoons honey Pinch of chili flakes or two-three tablespoons hot sauce 1/3-1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce 3/4 cup whiskey Using a heavy bottom sauce pan, cook onion and garlic in whiskey until transluscent, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring the pot to a boil, and simmer away for an hour to an hour and a half. Pour through a sieve or pour the mix into a blender/food processor and blend until smooth. Store in sterilized, air-tight jars, it should keep for three weeks. Enjoy!

Carmel’s Chocolate Stout Cake

I made it in two cake tins, but I think it’s form would hold better in a bundt tin.

Carmel’s chocolate stout cake:

2 cups flour

1 cup cocoa powder

1 cup white sugar

1/2 brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 cup veggie oil

2 cups(1 tall can) your choice of stout

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Grease and flour tin. Sieve flour, cocoa, sugars and baking powder in a large bowl. Whisk to make sure everything is mixed thoroughly. Make a well in center. Add wet ingredients.  Stir from middle out, until no lumps. Pour in tin(s). Bake for 35-40 min, or until toothpick comes out clean,  at about 145c (not totally sure what that is in farenheit, but just watch the cake!). Let cool, frost with a whiskey buttercream/cream cheese frosting.

Whiskey frosting:
8oz cream cheese (1 block/container), room temperature
 2 cups + a few tablespoons powdered sugar (sifted)
 6 tablespoons butter (softened – not melted)
2 tsp vanilla

2 tablespoons your choice Whiskey

With an electric mixer mix softened butter and cream cheese with vanilla and whiskey until smooth. Gradually add the powdered sugar one cup, Then add the additional tablespoons as needed until the consistency is thick, smooth, and to your liking.

Let me know if you guys end up baking this!  And pass on and enjoy!



Tumeric milk

Tumeric milk. It may sound strange, but it’s a great way to unwind at the end of the day. Not to mention, tumeric and cinnamon both have an incredible amount of benefits.

Tumeric milk:

Two cups of almond milk

2 tablespoon of tumeric

1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, bring almond milk to the boil. Add the rest of the ingredients, whisking almost constantly. Pour into two mugs, enjoy! You can put a couple of cloves for a more Christmas/winter feel too!

Beetjuice beetjuice beetjuice!

I’m a huge coffee drinker, but I do find that sometimes that one more cup gives me the jitters. This juice beets the afternoon slump as a snack or alone as a breakfast! It came as an experiment, when I was cleaning out my fridge but it deserves a lot more credit than just an accident. It is nutrient packed and has a lot of flavor!

Beetroot juice:

4 beetroot-boiled then peeled

1 large carrot

1 ½ apples, green or red

half a lemon’s juice

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

1 teasoon of cayenne.

1 teaspoon of grated ginger


Dice the beetroot, apple, and carrot(after grating). Put all ingredients in a blender, and blitz until smooth. Then sieve into a large bowl. With the grainy leftovers, you can add it to hummus, or to salads.

Add a lime wedge for a fancy feel!
Add a lime wedge for a fancy feel!